White Center Family Shelter Opens
Open House/Dedication - Coming in May; date TBD
King County Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) and Mary’s Place collaborated to open a shelter in March at the former Public Health Clinic in White Center for families experiencing homelessness. The shelter provides a temporary home for approximately 30 people (parents and children), and will eventually serve up to 70 people. In addition to 24/7 shelter, the program provides meals, hygiene services and onsite case management assistance in providing access to healthcare, employment, permanent housing and other support services to help each family move toward self-sufficiency. Read more about Mary's Place here.
The enhanced shelter model is proven to be more successful in helping people who are experiencing homelessness find permanent housing. The 24-hour model, case management, housing and employment services, and transportation to service agencies are instrumental in assisting people.
A recent report from Focus Strategies, a national firm specializing in strategies to address homelessness, recommended that King County shift its shelter system to an enhanced model designed to connect homeless households to housing. The national best practice performance target for this type of shelter is an exit rate from shelter to permanent housing of 50 percent.
There are more than 100 people who are homeless in the White Center area and many more who are at risk of homelessness who have reached out for help via 211 and other venues. There are no other shelter options in White Center. Current estimates from the Highline School District indicate that there are over 70 homeless school age children from the district from over 35 families.
King County consulted with both the Food Bank and SW Youth and Family Services during site review. Both are agreeable to having the shelter join them at this location. DCHS and Mary's Place will work with both agencies to ensure communication and successful operations for all tenants.
Mary's Place works closely with the Highline School District, hospitals and other outreach workers who will provide direct outreach to people in White Center who are homeless. In addition, King County and partners will work with existing human services providers in White Center to get the word out that the beds and case management services are available.
- Contact Valerie Kendall at 206-263-9076.