Time is Running Out For River City, Fifteen Campers May Be On The Streets by May 13th

A deadline is fast approaching for residents of the River City camp in Aberdeen. With no new host churches stepping up, the Amazing Grace Lutheran Church plans to move them out of their parking lot in Aberdeen two weeks from tomorrow.

Pastor Val Metropoulos said they’re still hoping for another church to come forward and offer sanctuary, if not fifteen campers will be moved back onto the streets on May 13th – almost 2 years after the church first took in the camp.

Formed in June of 2015 after several people were evicted from camping on property along the Chehalis River near downtown Aberdeen. Hoquiam First Presbyterian Church hosted the camp second, followed by the Hoquiam Baptist Church, then Our Lady of Good Help in Aberdeen before it went back to Hoquiam First Presbyterian and ended up back at the Amazing Grace Lutheran Church.

While no official timeline was ever imposed by law or ordinance, the churches agreed to host the camp for 90 days at a time. The city of Hoquiam has since adopted an ordinance specifying 120 days, Aberdeen has not imposed a deadline.

The church and its members have reached out to other congregations in search of another host church but have not found one yet. And with the current timeline, they can only really shop in Aberdeen since a Hoquiam ordinance requires 30 days notice for a church to host a site.

Pastor Metropoulos said that May 13th will mark the end of the 5th month that the camp has been with them. She said that her congregation would be happy to host the camp again in the rotation, but they don’t want to impose too much on neighbors and supporters by hosting for extended periods of time.

Emily Reed with Revival of Grays Harbor said that they are working with local municipalities to come up with a more permanent solution. Reed said this morning, “Revival is collecting supplies to support these campers during the transition (like tents, sleeping bags, etc), while also preparing to actively care for over a dozen more people who will be put back onto the streets.” Find their new website at revivalofgraysharbor.org.

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