UW News

December 15, 2022

UW welcomes Tent City 3 for winter quarter

The University of Washington will welcome back Tent City 3 — an organized tent-city community — to its Seattle campus for 90 days during winter quarter 2023. Move-in is scheduled to begin Dec. 17, 2022.

The UW previously hosted Tent City 3 in winter 2017 and winter 2021 in parking lot W35, situated between John M. Wallace Hall and the Fishery Sciences buildings off Northeast Pacific Street. This year’s site will be parking lot E21, located just north of the Waterfront Activities Center, by Husky Stadium.

“We’re excited to welcome Tent City 3 back to campus as part of our mission of public service,” said Aaron Hoard, interim director of the UW Office of Regional and Community Relations. “While not a permanent solution to homelessness, it plays an important role for its residents by providing shelter and services so they can work towards a more permanent housing solution.”

Tent City 3 will provide safe, secure temporary housing for up to 100 people, while at UW.

The renewed partnership results from engagement by the Tent City Collective — a group of UW students, alumni and Tent City 3 residents who have been working with faculty, academic departments and local civic leaders to bring Tent City 3 to the UW for a third time.

The UW believes that Tent City 3 remains a valued partner due to its code of conduct and strong reputation for providing a safe and secure home for its residents. Many residents are employed, and many are families with children. For these families, and all of the residents, the tent-city community helps reduce their risk of being crime victims, which is more likely to happen to people experiencing homelessness. Tent City 3 has previously been based in the University District, including across the street from the UW campus, a number of times in recent years.

Tent City 3’s code of conduct bans alcohol, drugs, weapons, violence and open fires. All prospective Tent City residents are checked for sex offender status; individuals on the registry cannot stay. The UW and Seattle Housing and Resource Effort or SHARE, which oversees Tent City 3, have created a new safety, hygiene and security plan and signed an agreement setting out mutual responsibilities during the hosting period.

Tent City 3 has been successfully implementing measures to maintain social distancing and sanitation standards within the encampment, officials said. In the event of a positive COVID-19 test, Public Health – Seattle & King County is responsible for contact tracing, quarantine and isolation. Tent City 3 submitted a COVID-19 prevention and mitigation plan to the UW.

The project relies on fundraisers by the Tent City Collective, as well as donations from individuals, student groups and professional organizations. The UW will not use tuition or taxpayer dollars for hosting.

To learn more about this partnership between the UW and Tent City 3, visit our FAQ or email regional@uw.edu. To learn more about the UW’s broader work on homelessness, visit Urban@UW’s Homelessness Research Initiative.

The Tent City Collective is organizing volunteers and fundraisers: Visit them on Facebook or email tentcity@uw.edu.