Indoor shelter sites reopen, encampment ends

Working in collaboration with the Church Council of Greater Seattle, Catholic Community Services (CCS), Seattle Housing and Resource Effort (better known as SHARE), and the City of Seattle, we have been successful in negotiating an agreement to re-open more than a dozen indoor shelter sites in Seattle that had been closed since early spring. As a result, SHARE moved their encampments from our Administration Building Plaza and Goat Hill over the weekend.

Under an agreement signed with CCS last week, approximately 250 shelter beds are re-opening, with two significant changes to operations:

  • Effective immediately, CCS has taken on a new role as fiscal trustee for SHARE’s indoor shelters, providing financial management, budgeting, and fiscal oversight to improve accountability and sustainability for the SHARE indoor shelter network.
  • Second, King County is providing funding to CCS to ensure that case management and housing navigation services will be available to shelter stayers at the SHARE indoor sites – services that previously were not available at any of those locations. Our goal is to provide both the safety of indoor shelter coupled with access to the services that create pathways out of homelessness.

As the summer days wind down, we are pleased that resolution was achieved and the shelters re-opened before the cooler temperatures set in. We are especially grateful to Catholic Community Services and the Church Council of Greater Seattle for their leadership in helping to bring the local churches and the partners together to re-establish this urgently needed shelter.

Thank you for your patience, understanding, and compassion as we worked to negotiate an agreement that not only re-opens 250 needed beds, but also ensures access to services that help people to exit homelessness. A special thank you to the dedicated staff of the Facilities Management Division, Public Health-Seattle & King County, and the Department of Community and Human Services for their efforts to assist the individuals in the encampments and safeguard health and safety issues.

Homelessness affects thousands of people in our community. Many of us know family, friends, or neighbors who have experienced homelessness, or who may be at the edge of homelessness due to our region’s skyrocketing housing costs. King County is absolutely committed to working with our partners in government, housing, faith, and philanthropy to preserve and create affordable housing and to make homelessness in King County rare, brief, and a one-time occurrence.