King County Executive Dow Constantine has authorized the temporary use of a ground-floor room in the King County Administration Building for use as a homeless shelter during the month of October by SHARE Safe Haven, in response to a request received from the organization late last week.
King County Executive Dow Constantine has authorized the temporary use of a ground-floor room in the King County Administration Building for use as a homeless shelter during the month of October by SHARE Safe Haven, in response to a request received from the organization late last week. SHARE was recently displaced from its most recent location on Seattle's First Hill without having a new site for relocation. The temporary shelter will open tonight.
"The return of rain signals fall is on the way, and serves as a reminder that the neediest among us are left out in the elements," said Executive Constantine. "We've operated a cold-weather winter shelter in the Administration Building for years, so it is an easy decision for us to open our shelter a little earlier."
The Executive praised the County's Facilities Management staff for mobilizing quickly to prepare the Administration Building for shelter use that can begin tonight (Oct. 3), a month earlier than expected.
The shelter will serve 20 to 30 people each night. Staff from SHARE Safe Haven and King County will supervise the shelter, which will open from 9:00 pm to 6:00 am every night through the end of October.
SHARE Safe Haven will continue to look for new space, and will vacate the Administration Building by November 1, the date on which the County will open its own men's winter shelter in the same space.
On November 1, King County will once again open additional shelter sites for homeless women and men - 90 total spaces, 50 for men and 40 for women, that will offer a warm, dry place to sleep during the cold, wet winter months ahead.
Women's Shelter: As it has for several years, the King County Women's Response Shelter will open on Oct. 1, 2011 and remain open through March 31, 2012. It will be operated by the YWCA Angeline's Center for Homeless Women. Capacity is 40 women per night. The Women's Referral Center is located at 2030 Third Avenue in the Belltown neighborhood of downtown Seattle. Women can stop by and register nightly between 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. After 9 p.m., women may drop-in or call 206-436-8650 to inquire about shelter space availability.
Men's Shelter: The King County Men's Winter Response Shelter will open on Nov. 1, 2011 and close on April 15, 2012. The shelter will be operated by the Salvation Army and will be located in the King County Administration Building at 500 Fourth Avenue, between Jefferson and James streets in downtown Seattle. Line up for the shelter takes place in the park across Fourth Avenue just south of the courthouse and Jefferson Street. The shelter will open every night at 9:00 p.m.
In an agreement with the City of Seattle and key local shelter providers, King County and Seattle will stagger some opening and closing dates for their winter shelters.
Seattle winter shelters will be open from Oct. 1, 2011 through March 31, 2012, while King County will open its men's shelter a bit later in the year and stay open two weeks after the Seattle winter shelter has closed. Previously, when the County and City winter shelters both closed operations on April 1, Operation Nightwatch and other shelter providers in the community were inundated with shelter requests. It is hoped that staggering the closing dates can reduce some of those impacts.
Countywide there are 1,601 year-round shelter beds for single adults.
For more information on King County's winter shelter operations, contact Janice Hougen, King County Housing and Community Development, at 206-263-9089.