Five-week Tent City 3 resident Christopher Carter will miss Seattle Pacific.
“All the help today really shows SPU’s heart, and boy, do they have heart,” Carter said. “I have grown dear to their love and passion for understanding.”
On Saturday, March 7, approximately 90 TC3 residents made the move from SPU to Shoreline Free Methodist Church with the help of over 100 students, staff, faculty and community volunteers.
The move out day, hosted by Latreia, an SPU service club committed to linking students’ passions with local agencies, started at 7:30 a.m.
Students signed up with Latreia to volunteer for morning and afternoon shifts.
Junior Elisa Raney felt motivated to volunteer during the move due to her close ties with TC3.
“I have been hanging out with TC3 residents all quarter and done research with Dr. [Karen] Snedker, [associate professor of sociology], so I just wanted to help them move and see them off to their new location,” Raney said.
The volunteers who helped with the move out are a testament to how much people care about TC3, said
Owen Sallee, coordinator for global and urban involvement in the John Perkins Center.
“Engaging the culture and reaching out to the homeless community are a huge part of Dr. Perkins’ mission,” Sallee said. “So even though they always have places to go, we love having them.”
According to Sallee, SPU hopes to have TC3 back every three years so each generation of students can experience it. Sallee also says the John Perkins Center plans to organize trips to Shoreline Free Methodist Church for students to keep in contact with TC3 residents they have formed relationships with.
For 3-year TC3 resident Willie Faller, his time in TC3 has given him the sense of hope he needed. Faller says he is in transition mode and hopes to be off the streets and living with his family by summer 2015.
“It is a pleasure and an honor to be a part of a community that is striving for a better life,” Faller said. “The advocacy and the work that this organization does for homelessness is incredible.”
“This has been a great experience for me, and I wouldn’t change anything about it,” Faller said.
Reflecting on his time living in TC3 at SPU, Carter feels grateful for the memories and hopeful for the future.
“The distance leaves some hurt in the heart, but passion grows with distance, and I believe we are going to be able to take the connection theory with us wherever we go,” Carter said. “I have received an abundance of love [at SPU], and I can only hope I have been able to leave that same abundance.”
Latreia Coordinator Haley Balbi said the experience of living alongside TC3 can summed up in a single car-ride conversation.
“During the move out day, I was driving some TC3 residents from SPU to Shoreline and in conversation one of them said, ‘The way I see it, Jesus shed the same blood for us as he did for all of you,’” Balbi said. “In sharing experiences with TC3 residents, we [are] reminded that they are just as valuable in the eyes of God as we are.”
*The original version of this article, posted on March 11, attributed the wrong author for this article. On March 12, this article was edited to correctly note Tori Hoffman as the author. Additionally, the third paragraph beginning “On Saturday, March 7…” was cut off. The following was added on March 12 to correct this error: “the help of over 100 students, staff, faculty and community volunteers.”