The body of Jesus is laid in the tomb.
SHARE Tent City, 1998, on Beacon Hill
Jerusalem, Station 14:
The body of Jesus is laid in the tomb.

Seattle, Station 14:
Tent City 3.

Like the nomads of the Old Testament, 100 members of Tent City had moved thirteen times between March 31 and July 31 of 2000, in search of a permanent site. They have stayed together, during that time and since, through incredible hardships, and have stood firm in the face of the City and police department's threats. And when will their Resurrection be?

March 31, 2000. I went out on the bus. The main lot was screened by trees and bushes and all I could see from the road were two Honey-Buckets. I had to clamber over two ramps of dirt with a trough in the middle to get to the campsite.

We set up tents and a security watch. The owners decided they liked having us there: we were cleaning up, clearing brush, keeping off the folks who had hid out in the bushes and shot up or dumped garbage — we even smoothed the entryway. But the City ordered them to kick us off or be fined for zoning violation.

The City kept doing that, for thirteen moves. This group has stayed together for five months now. Each move, we make new friends in a new neighborhood. Now we have people donating money for a camping permit, donating legal help.

July 31, 2000. We're back on Beacon Hill, near our 1998 site, and our latest hosts, at El Centro de la Raza, aren't backing down in the face of the fines. Previous opponents of Tent City are swinging over.

I sometimes wonder what would have happened, if the City had left us alone out in the boondocks.

January, 2001. The Department of Construction and Land Use denies Tent City a legal permit.

September 2001. King County Superior Court rules that the DCLU was in error, and land use permits can be issued for tent cities.

March 2002. SHARE/WHEEL and the City Attorney's office are in negotiations over the terms under which tent cities may be allowed. Tent City has moved a total of 25 times over 2 years, with 18 hosts.

Final Thoughts
Return to Stations of the Cross: the Spiritual Geography of Homeless People in Seattle