Mission & History

Tent City 3 bike outside tent, by Ilona Berzups

Our Mission

Greater Seattle Cares is a faith-based, non-profit organization that provides a vehicle for local communities to connect with homeless encampments in Western Washington for the provision of the residents’ daily needs and to facilitate their transition to independent living.

To achieve this mission, we strive to:

  • Build a network of caring individuals and community partners committed to enhancing the quality of life of the camp residents.
  • Coordinate efforts to deliver meals, clothing and supplies to the camps.
  • Communicate needs and advocate for homeless encampments at community meetings and potential host sites.
  • Collaborate with local organizations to develop opportunities for the camp residents to further their own development and self-sufficiency.

Greater Seattle Cares envisions a world without homelessness in which communities come together to promote a better quality of life for those in need.

Our Values

  • Respect for all individuals, recognizing that each person is created in the image of the Creator.
  • Compassion expressed in partnering with our brothers and sisters who are living in tents in our city.
  • Justice expressed in advocating for an end to homelessness.
  • Empowerment expressed in the belief that investing in human potential gives one the capacity to excel and to shape one’s own path.
  • Stewardship recognized in the responsible use and management of resources entrusted to our care.

Our History

Rev. Deacon Mary Gould, a deacon in the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, became involved with Tent City 3 while they were being hosted by St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle. As she saw the residents struggle to secure life’s basic necessities, she envisioned an organization of people who wanted to stay connected to Tent City 3 and who would be able to respond to those needs on an ongoing basis. It is from this dream that, in 2005, Greater Seattle Cares was born.

GSC’s first focus was to mobilize communities to provide one hot meal a day to the residents of Tent City 3. Since then, the organizations’ role has expanded to help assure food, clothing and shelter at the camp through donation drives, fundraising and purchasing items of acute need.

After years of learning from the residents at Tent City 3 about what they needed and how to best support them, and concerned by the rapidly growing number of people suffering homelessness in the Puget Sound area, Greater Seattle Cares decided in 2014 to extend its support to other homeless encampments in the Puget Sound region.