During the month of February 2005, Seattle University hosted Tent City 3, the temporary encampment that provides shelter, support and safety to approximately 100 homeless women and men. The decision grew of a desire to provide the SU community with a deeper understanding of homelessness; to give SU students direct and compelling educational and service leadership opportunities; and, true to SU's Jesuit Catholic ethos, to make a difference in the lives of people in need.
As the first university in the nation to host a homeless encampment, SU worked closely with the Tent City 3 residents, neighborhood organizations, students and faculty to determine the best approach for all involved. The result was a program including panel discussions, educational site visits, job and computer training, health presentations and assistance, legal clinics and consultations, social events and more.
"Seattle U is using its Tent City participation in many useful ways, including holding forums on homelessness. Now there's an idea: Provide immediate help while looking seriously for larger solutions."
Seattle Post-Intelligencer editorial Feb. 1, 2005 | Read more
"The fact that Tent City would set up on the grounds of SU should come as no surprise to anyone who knows the university...a strong underpinning of ethical behavior is wrapped into students' entire education there."
Washington CEO magazine March 2005 | Washington CEO Tent City 3 Article
"On a most human and practical level, SU is not doing anything more than secular and religious tent-city hosts have offered with far fewer resources. The university is taking the next giant leap beyond portable toilets and anxiety to involve the homeless in the mission of the institution."
Seattle Times editorial, Jan. 23, 2005 | Read more