UW Combined Fund Drive

January 19, 2023

How to support UW-hosted Tent City 3

Tent City 3/ Chris Yang, Seattle Pacific University

Tent City 3 (TC3), a self-managed moveable community of individuals experiencing homelessness, will be housed on the UW campus at parking lot E21 until March 19, 2023.

Lot E21 is between Husky Stadium and the Waterfront Activities Center, near the UW light rail station. On two previous occasions, in 2017 and 2021, TC3 was housed in parking lot W35. E21 was selected for its 10,000+ square feet of relatively flat hardscape with proximity to electricity, water and transit.

Learn more about UW’s broader work on homelessness at Urban@UW’s Homelessness Research Initiative

Tent cities began in Seattle in 1990, when a group of citizens experiencing homelessness came together to create a self-managing grassroots community.

Tent City 3 began operating in 2000 and hosts up to 100 adults and children in one communal encampment. TC3 has also been hosted by Seattle University and Seattle Pacific University as well as churches near the UW on several occasions.

Unlike many shelters, TC3 allows mixed-gender couples to live together, as well as children and small breed pets. The TC3 community operates with a strict code of conduct that prohibits drugs, alcohol, violence, open fires and sex offenders. UWPD and Seattle PD partner with the community for enforcement of these policies.

To pay for TC3, private funds specifically raised by the student-organized Tent City Collective are used to host the encampment. No tuition dollars or taxpayer money are used. Tent City Collective is comprised of UW students, alumni and Tent City 3 residents.

How you can help

Donations of needed items can be dropped off in person at TC3 during the day Monday – Sunday. The most needed items currently include:

  • Tents/tarps/sleeping mats/cots/sleeping bags/blankets
  • Building supplies: lumber of all types, zip ties, nails etc.
  • Kitchen supplies: can openers, aluminum foil, saran wrap, paper plates, bowls & cups
  • Canned/non-perishable food products, bottled water
  • Hygiene products: toilet paper, feminine hygiene, disposable toothbrushes, sanitizer, pain relief, first aid supplies
  • Camping supplies: flashlights, batteries, hand warmers, ponchos, plastic totes and bins with lids, rubber boots

Interested in preparing a hot meal for Tent City 3? Email tc3@sharewheel.org or leave a message at (206) 517-9011 for more information or to be added to the meal calendar.

Monetary donations are also gratefully accepted through PayPal to SHARE/Wheel (Seattle Housing and Resource Effort), a registered 501(c)3 in Washington. SHARE is not a member of the UW Combined Fund Drive, but we have extended an invitation to join.