Living With Goodwill


Residents of SHARE's Safe Haven shelter have finally found a taker, albeit a temporary one. Goodwill Industries of Seattle has offered the 30 homeless men and women space on the second floor of its building on South Dearborn Street and Corwin Place South. Residents of the shelter have been looking for a home since last spring, when the INS building in SoDo, where they'd been staying for three years, was sold to a local investment group. They've been sleeping at St. James Cathedral on First Hill since June, but were due to get booted from there soon.Safe Haven residents have spent months writing letters to everyone from city, county, and port officials to property owners like Qwest Field and Harborview Medical Center. Either they've received no response or they've simply been told no. The shelter is a nighttime, emergency-only operation that's been located in and around Pioneer Square for 14 years, and the group is self-managed.The impending destruction of the Goodwill building made it a candidate. The Goodwill property is slated for a major mixed-use redevelopment next year. Safe Haven's presence there will be reevaluated after three months.Meanwhile, in the wee hours of September 22, a group of homeless people began erecting Nickelsville, their long-planned shantytown, in a grassy field along West Marginal Way in West Seattle (see "Shanty Frown," SW, Aug. 20). The land is publicly owned—it's actually one of several sites the city is considering building a new jail on—and the encampment illegal. Mayor Greg Nickels has given them until Thursday to get out. But Nickelsville organizers are hoping city officials will work with them to establish something similar to Portland's Dignity Village, where a compromise was reached that allowed homeless residents to put down roots on city property.

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