Tammy Morales sent the following letter to the city of Seattle’s Human Services Department, Nickelsville, and the Low Income Housing Institute. It is reprinted here with permission. A petition calling for mediation between the organizations can be found here.
by Tammy Morales
Dear Nickelsville, Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), and Seattle Human Services Department Leaders,
I have immense admiration for the work that both LIHI and Nickelsville have done for years in serving our underserved homeless neighbors. Nickelsville, you have stood against corporate power in the city that wants to stop spending on human services. You have served the needs of our community members and have shown us that we can have permanent affordable housing.
LIHI has also been a leader in advocating for harm-reduction measures to provide safe and secure spaces for our homeless neighbors. You have also blazed a trail in building tiny houses, transforming sanctioned encampments into sanctioned tiny house villages, where residents can sleep with human dignity.
Given the years of collaboration and positive work by both LIHI and Nickelsville, I assume that conflicts over the management of the Othello, Georgetown, and Northlake tiny house villages can be resolved with further mediation. You were so close to resolution. As homeless advocates, we must all stand together to find the answers that will serve our neighbors best. If we get divided, we will fail, because big moneyed interests are certainly united in their opposition.
I am writing to urge you all to seek a mediated solution to the disagreements in the operations of Seattle’s Othello, Georgetown, and Northlake tiny house villages. I join others who are urging all the parties involved in this conflict — Nickelsville, LIHI, and the City of Seattle’s Human Services Department — to agree to meet together with a trusted neutral mediator to find a solution that respects the democratic and human rights of the encampment residents, and facilitates all organizations to focus on continuing the good work you have done for years.
You are all indispensable leaders in the struggle for affordable housing, and the human rights of homeless people in Seattle. Thank you for everything you do, and I look forward to seeing this conflict resolved equitably and amicably.
A group of homeless advocates has created a petition calling for a return to mediation. If you’re interested in signing, click here.
In solidarity and service,
Community member and Human Rights advocate
Featured Image by Alex Garland.
Tammy Morales is running for the Seattle City Council in District 2.