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KVI Interview: "Melissa" from Seattle homeless tent 'mansion'

Homeless mansion front KVI PIXLR.jpg
Three homeless people, one named "Melissa", constructed this homeless tent "mansion" at 3rd and Broad Street about one block from the Space Needle. KVI's Kirby Wilbur and John Carlson interview "Melissa" about how she ended up homeless and why she's on the street living in a tent 'mansion' in Seattle.{ } (photo: KVI Staff)

"We're victims of circumstance at this point and we're just trying to live and not be miserable.", the homeless woman in Seattle who calls herself "Melissa" tells KVI.

Melissa was featured in a story earlier this week by Q13 News about the homeless "mansion" she and two others built on the sidewalk roughly two blocks west of The Space Needle. After the story went viral, Melissa tells KVI that death threats have been posted on website comment threads about their homeless tent abode.

She confides she and her boyfriend came here two years ago from Kansas and at one point had an apartment.

"I'm a middle class person living in this tent right now," she says, adding that she has a master's degree in social work but doesn't have a job. She claims her last job paid her just over $33,000 a year. She tried to explain that everyone is just one pay check away from disaster but KVI's Kirby Wilbur quickly disagreed with her generalization. She says she doesn't have money to travel back to family or friends on the east coast and that she had her ID stolen and can't get a new one.

KVI's John Carlson asked her about a previous interview assertion about living in a tent in Seattle was better than paying rent. She said that comment was taken out of context. When asked to explain the context, she says, "why am I gonna put myself in a situation where I'm miserable (paying rent) and just be sad..."

The series of tarps and tents includes a framed glass door serving as a front door. There's cramped space for at least three people to sleep. Looking inside the tarp covered portion there is a partly cut frosted cake on a cake pedestal. Outside the tent door there is a metal rolling cart that has a rain-soaked ramen noodle package and a bag of microwaveable beans but there is no microwave to be seen. Underneath a wooden TV tray outside the tent is a bag of bagels. At the opposite end of the structure there is a small sign pinned to a tarp that reads "home".

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