Roving 'clean and sober' tent city pops up in Seattle's Ravenna neighborhood

SEATTLE -- Dozens of tents have popped up in Seattle's Ravenna neighborhood this week.

About 50 people are now living on this strip of public land along I-5. They're all members of Tent City Three, a homeless camp that has moved more than 90 times in its 20-year existence, most times with a permit and hosted by churches or universities, according to The Seattle Times.

A leader for the group says they're a "clean and sober" encampment. People living there must show a valid driver's license and can't be on the sex offender registry.

It's only the second time they've set up camp in a place they're not allowed, but the group's plans to move to another church site fell through at the last minute.

"We don't have any other recourse. There's not enough shelter beds to fit 60 people, right now, overnight," said Joseph A., a Tent City Three resident who's helping with security. "This is the viable, safe option."

Tent City Three members say they're not sure how long they'll stay in the neighborhood. They're asking for help to come up with money for an insurance policy that a potential host church is now requiring.

Will Lemke, a spokesperson for the city's Navigation Team, told The Times that the city is “evaluating and monitoring the situation.”