At Saturday evening Mass, Father Kevin Duggan, Pastor of Sammamish’s Mary, Queen of Peace Catholic Church, announced he had decided to invite Tent City 4 to come to Mary, Queen of Peace Church to be guests of the church community for the next 90 days, beginning next Saturday, October 19th.
Father Duggan says he understands that the Sammamish community has concerns regarding this decision, some of which were voiced at a recent community meeting. He says, “I have also spent much time in prayer mulling over the pros and cons of this matter. As a result of all this, I have come to be more and more convinced that what is being asked of us is safe, reasonable, and doable. In addition, our help is urgently needed, given what these homeless men and women will face if we turn them away.
I realize that not everyone will agree with my judgment on this issue. However, the overwhelming majority of persons and groups who have weighed in on the matter have agreed. While there are some who remain strongly opposed to our doing this, there are far greater numbers who strongly support and encourage it, particularly our own parish leadership and community at large. I am also strongly encouraged by the cooperation and assistance we have received from all facets of the government and staff of the City of the Sammamish."
Father Duggan says that it is time for Sammamish to take its place among many other eastside communities who have already hosted a Tent City. "Although I do not speak for the Sammamish plateau
community as a whole, I also believe that it is time for our civic community to
do as virtually all the other civic communities on the Eastside have
already done—Bothell, Kirkland, Woodinville, Redmond, Bellevue, Mercer Island
and Issaquah—and that is to take our turn in assisting Tent City 4.”
Hosting Tent City 4 will be a large undertaking and other Sammamish faith communities are now standing by to assist Mary, Queen of Peace church's community to care for their guests. The Rev'd Dr. Suzi Robertson, Vicar of Sammamish's Good Samaritan Episcopal Church, says, "we join in partnership and ministry with Mary, Queen of Peace in hosting Tent City 4, as part of the call of our Baptism and in honor of our namesake. We anticipate we will support this community, along with other faith communities on the plateau and the Sammamish community in general, in a variety of ways including set up, if needed. We are also already beginning to collect non-perishable foods, gifts of warmth such as coats, vests, socks, gloves, blankets and hats. We expect to be fully involved in the entire 90 day process."
Sammamish residents who would like to help support Tent City 4's residents can find more information on the community’s website and the Share Housing and Resource Effort and Women’s Housing Equality and Enhancement League (SHARE/WHEEL) website.