SHARE/WHEEL's 15 Self-Managed Indoor Shelters provide safe, empowering, nighttime housing and community for up to 320 individuals in different host locations throughout Seattle, mainly in donated spaces in churches.
SHARE/WHEEL's Tent Cities are portable, self-managed communities of up to 100 homeless men and women. SHARE/WHEEL's Tent Cities are democratically organized. They operate with a strict Code of Conduct which requires sobriety, nonviolence, cooperation and participation. Security workers are on duty 24 hours a day. Litter patrols are done on a daily basis. Tent City3 started in 2000. It operates mainly in the City of Seattle. Tent City4 started in 2004. It operates in King County, mainly on the East Side of Lake Washington.
WHEEL (the Women's Housing, Equality and Enhancement League) is SHARE's partner organization, working of the problem of homelessness as it affects women. Among many self-managed projects, WHEEL facilitates a Winter Shelter for Women and a daytime organizing, arts and education program (the Women's Empowerment Center). With the Church of Mary Magdalene, WHEEL sponsors Women in Black vigils whenever a homeless person dies outside or by violence in King County. Out of these Women in Black vigils grew the Homeless Remembrance Project, a community effort led by WHEEL, dedicated to creating places of beauty, hope and healing to honor and remember homeless people who've died. The Homeless Remembrance Project concept is twofold: A "Tree of Life" sculpture and gathering place in Victor Steinbrueck Park, and "Leaves of Remembrance," with names, scattered in sidewalks throughout Seattle.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
One of SHARE's recent successes was celebration of our 20th Anniversary in fall, 2010. We launched a 20/20 fundraising campaign, created our first newsletter, and engaged in a capacity-building project with an outside consultant.
One of WHEEL's recent successes was completing all the steps necessary finally to realize its dream of a Homeless Remembrance Project. This project's "Tree of Life" sculpture and gathering place in Victor Steinbrueck Park was dedicated in October 2012, and 155 "Leaves of Remembrance" have been installed and dedicated in 10 different locations throughout Seattle over the past three years.
Our costs to organize and facilitate shelter and our other empowerment projects far outstrip our stable, government fund sources. Our biggest current need is developing additional ongoing sources of funding.