Seattle Tent City
In Seattle, small “tent cities” are starting to form in which rows of polyester tarp tents and tiny houses have been providing chronic homeless residents an option for refuge from the streets. The City’s “transitional encampments” are more flexible than transitional housing, safer than the streets, and cheaper than the average subsidized or market-rate apartment. Other cities such as San Francisco CA, Eugene OR, and Austin TX are using similar housing structures, and even in some cases, the structures are functioning as permanent housing. However, the encampments have generated controversy, as opponents counter that the temporary encampments distract from the development of long-term solutions — and they argue that, though better than the sidewalk, these living arrangements are still inhumane. As of 2016 the camps are fully functioning and are funded by the City in an attempt to lessen the region’s homelessness state of emergency.