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April 3, 2013 at 1:40 PM

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Nickelsville: What's the next move for homeless camp?


ERIKA SCHULTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Michael Keever, left, plays chess with Larry Washington near their tents at Nickelsville. "This place is not perfect, but we are doing the best we can to keep it clean and drug free," Keever said. "We have families show up in the middle of the night as a last resort. We're doing the best we can here." Jason VanPlatt, 37, is behind.

ERIKA SCHULTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Kimmy Kowalski, left, lives with her husband Michael Keever and black lab 'Midnight' (not pictured) in a tent at Nickelsville. "This place is not perfect, but we are doing the best we can to keep it clean and drug free," Keever said. "We have families show up in the middle of the night as a last resortÉ We're doing the best we can here." The encampment, which has moved 17 times in the Seattle-area since September 2008, started in this location at 7116 W Marginal Way SW.

ERIKA SCHULTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES

A portrait of Richard Gilbert, one of the Nickelsville co-founders and arbitrators, is taken outside his small wooden home. The encampment features many types of dwellings, including tents and small wooden sleeping structures. Gilbert says he hopes Nickelsville will one day have a permanent location with access to electricity and running water.

ERIKA SCHULTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Nickelsville residents line up for a midday meal provided by Operation Sack Lunch Tuesday, April 2, 2013. The encampment, which has moved 17 times since September 2008, started in this location at 7116 W Marginal Way SW.

ERIKA SCHULTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES

A portrait of Larry Washington, 57, a Nickelsville resident of a year-and-a-half, is taken inside his tent, where he also keeps his guitar and drum set. "Everybody here has nowhere else to go," he said. "I feel safer living here than one of those holes downtown."

ERIKA SCHULTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Signs are posted around Nickelsville, located at 7116 W Marginal Way SW, to encourage residents to keep the facilities clean to prevent rodent infestation. The encampment received tin bins from the City of Seattle to store food to help with the problem.

For more photos, from Nickelsville visit the gallery.

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