Archive for the Citizenship Category

Nickelsville, Seattle

Posted in Citizenship, Protests, The Homeless on December 6, 2009 by Karen Keddy

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These links discuss a “tent city” of homeless Seattlites that was started in 2008.  The Girl Scouts of America donated pink tents for the community.  They ususally set their tents up on property owned by the city.

The residents named their settlement “Nickelsville” as a dishonor to Seattle’s Mayor Greg Nickels.  They claim Nickels repeatedly asked police to “drive people out of their encampments and to destroy their property.” (Mustard Seed House)

By banding together, the homeless can stay warmer and be more organized.  Often there encampments have included dumpsters and port-a-potties.

When the mayor sent a representative to give the Nickelodeons their eviciton notice, she would tell them that the city would provide beds in shelters for the displaced homeless.

But the residents said that the mayor was lying.  There weren’t enough beds in the homeless shelters to accommodate all of the city’s homeless.  They said that the representative was really offering to kick-out 14 residents from the shelter for one night and let 14 Nickelodeons stay there.  But after that night, they would be back on the streets again.

Question:  Do the tents provide a sense of privacy and “ownership” of personal property that the shelters cannot provide?  (E.g., Some residents have said that couples and families can stay together in the tent – which is better than their options of single beds at the shelters.)

To include multiple perspectives, I have also included links to the Mayor’s website, and a page that included complaints from homeowners who lived nearby the encampments.

Nickelsville’s Website

Nickelsville Asks Court ot Block Eviction

Eviction at Nickelsville

Mustard Seed House

Interviews on Democracy Now

Mayor’s Official Website

Complaints from Neighboring Homeowners

Homeless Protest by Camping Outside Mayor’s Home


Posted in Citizenship, The Homeless on December 6, 2009 by Karen Keddy

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 On, Valerie Street has written an article about Mark Horvath.  Horvath goes around the country interviewing homeless people.  Street’s article discusses the path that led him there.  It notes how social networking sites like twitter and facebook can help bring an awareness to these types of social issues.  Click here to read her article.

Also, if you want to see some of Horvath’s interviews, I strongly recommend you check out Horvath’s website ( or his youtube channel.  (The videos download a little faster on youtube.)