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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Executive triples number of homeless shelter beds inside two King County buildings in downtown Seattle

Summary

King County will open a new 50-bed shelter for homeless men, including for the first time those with pets, and expand the existing shelter in the King County Administration Building from 50 to 100 beds – effectively tripling the number of beds the County provides to homeless men in downtown Seattle.

Story

420 Fourth Ave. Building

The 420 Fourth Avenue Building, which will begin hosting a King County shelter for homeless men on Dec. 26. The building is located just east of the park adjacent to the King County Courthouse, and just south of the King County Administration Building, where an additional 50 shelter beds will open on Dec. 28.

In support of his declaration of a state of emergency for homelessness in King County, Executive Dow Constantine today announced the opening of a new 50-bed homeless shelter inside the 420 Fourth Ave. building and expansion of the shelter inside the King County Administration Building from 50 to 100 beds - tripling the number of homeless shelter beds in county-owned buildings.

"Adding 100 shelter beds addresses immediate human needs and gets more people without homes off the street and out of the cold," said Executive Constantine. "The new shelter will welcome pets – a critical accommodation for many who need to stay warm but understandably won't abandon an animal companion."

The county will open the new shelter inside its vacant building at 420 Fourth Avenue on Saturday, Dec. 26 at 7 p.m. The space has been temporarily converted to shelter use with $92,000 appropriated by the King County Council to improve exits, install emergency lighting and smoke detectors, and do other needed work. The facility will shelter 50 men, including those with pets – a subset of the homeless population that is frequently excluded from shelters that have a no-pet policy. The City of Seattle is providing $15,000 to enable the shelter to open at 7 p.m. nightly rather than 8:30 p.m. - avoiding the need to wait outside in the cold that extra length of time.

The existing 50-bed shelter inside the King County Administration Building will be expanded to 100 beds on Monday, Dec. 28, at 7 p.m. The City of Seattle is providing $225,000 to provide for additional oversight, staffing, security, and utilities.

Both shelters will remain open nightly through April 15. In both, the county is funding case management services to connect those in the shelters with housing resources. The Salvation Army will operate both shelters, with funds provided by King County and the City of Seattle.

“Winter is here and we must do as much as we can to help those living on our streets have a safe place to sleep. Thanks to our ongoing partnership with King County, the City is able to help fund and stand up 100 additional emergency shelter beds in two County buildings for those with no other place to turn,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. “These additional beds are temporary and more must be done to provide services and shelters throughout our region. This is a crisis that affects our entire county from Seattle to our suburban cities and it is important that all of our local partners take actions to address it. Those experiencing homelessness are not concentrated in one neighborhood or city, and neither should our services be. The City is ready to pursue more opportunities to work together with our regional partners and the County. It is critical that all of us, together, do our part to respond to the growing homelessness emergency.”

"My thanks to the County Council, Mayor Murray, and the Seattle City Council for acting with urgency on emergency funding, and for joining me in calling on our state and federal partners for action on homelessness,” added Executive Constantine, who also acknowledged the work of the Salvation Army to operate the shelters, and the many community-based partners who work on behalf of the homeless.

To fund shelter beds outside the city of Seattle and avoid focusing services in any one area, the Executive next month will make available about $325,000, depending on available resources, in one-time funding to meet basic shelter needs in north, east, and south King County outside the city of Seattle. Proposals will be sought from non-profit service providers to expand existing nighttime shelter beds outside Seattle, or to increase the number of nights a shelter is open. The requests for proposals will also seek provision of homeless day-center services in South King County.  

Executive Constantine and Mayor Murray on November 2 declared a state of emergency for homelessness in the region. The Executive today reaffirmed his call on the federal and state governments to take action on homelessness, including shouldering more responsibility for affordable housing, mental health treatment, and addiction services.


Quotes

Adding 100 shelter beds addresses immediate human needs and gets more people without homes off the street and out of the cold. The new shelter will welcome pets – a critical accommodation for many who need to stay warm but understandably won't abandon an animal companion.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

Winter is here and we must do as much as we can to help those living on our streets have a safe place to sleep. Thanks to our ongoing partnership with King County, the City is able to help fund and stand up 100 additional emergency shelter beds in two County buildings for those with no other place to turn. These additional beds are temporary and more must be done to provide services and shelters throughout our region. This is a crisis that affects our entire county from Seattle to our suburban cities and it is important that all of our local partners take actions to address it. Those experiencing homelessness are not concentrated in one neighborhood or city, and neither should our services be. The City is ready to pursue more opportunities to work together with our regional partners and the County. It is critical that all of us, together, do our part to respond to the growing homelessness emergency.

Ed Murray, Seattle Mayor

For more information

Cameron Satterfield, Department of Executive Services, 206-263-9758 or 206-409-7840
Frank Abe, Executive Office, 206-263-9609

King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

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