Tent City 4 (TC4) is a homeless encampment of up to 100 people created in May 2004 in eastern King County outside of Seattle. Residents are adult men and women, although there is a provision for quartering minor dependents in emergency situations. Residents may have their own tents or single men or women may stay in gender specific community tents. Dumpsters and portable toilets are provided by SHARE and there is a portable shower. The community currently relocates every three to four months on the property of Eastern King County churches upon invitation. Proponents state that the average length of residency per inhabitant is six weeks, with fewer long-term than short-term members.
Opponents challenge this claim citing SHARE'S testimony to King County and City of Seattle elected officials that they do not keep any data on residents in order to protect their privacy. While the percentage varies based on the occupants, many of the residents work part or full time for area businesses as day laborers or permanent employees. Tent City 4 governance consists of an Advisor similar to an executive, and a rotating Executive Committee elected by the community in a one person, one vote structure.
Tent City 4 has differentiated itself from other temporary encampments since 2004 due to its standard of requiring a signed "Code of Conduct" and performing warrant checks and sex offender checks on all potential residents. By signing the "Code of Conduct" the residents agree to abstain from drugs and alcohol while at the camp and share responsibility for site security and maintenance.
Tent City 4 advocates cite statements from local police and newspapers that there have been no increases in crime in the areas that Tent City 4 has been located in and that calls to police for a similar tent city in Seattle are about the same as an apartment complex with 100 residents. Opponents of Tent City 4 note that increases in law enforcement costs associated with TC4 are an impact to public safety that the rural areas TC4 visits are unprepared to handle. They also express concerns that analysis of actual police reports and raw data associated with occupancies actually show increases in crime rates conflicts with the official statements that are being made.
TC4 left Northshore United Church of Christ (NUCC) in Woodinville on August 12, 2006 ending their unpermitted 90 day stay at the church. In July 2007 the Washington Court of Appeals upheld the King County Superior Court ruling against SHARE and NUCC allowing the city to collect the fines levied. Tent City 4 had hoped to relocate to the First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bothell and received permits to do so on August 11, but rejected the permit due to the number of conditions on the permit and instead moved to a backup site at Woodinville Unitarian Universalist Church (WUUC) after receiving a permit from King County.
5. a b c Tent City 4 Background Information. Northshore United Church of Christ. Retrieved on June 19, 2006.
6. a b Tuinstra, Rachel. Finn Hill homeless camp due to move. The Seattle Times. February 13, 2005. Retrieved on June 16, 2006.
7. Tent City doesn't seem to affect crime rates. The Seattle Times. May 21, 2004.
8. a b Conover, Forrest. Tent City Final Report. City of Bothell. September 30, 2004. Retrieved June 16, 2004.
9. Crime and Tent City. Tent City Solutions. Retrieved on June 16, 2006.
10. City of Bothell Issues Transitory Accommodations Permit
11. Tent city heads to backup site