City of Shoreline collaborates with Lake City Partners on 24/7 "Enhanced Shelter"

Saturday, August 29, 2020

The Oaks building proposed for an Enhanced Shelter is a sprawling, one-story facility on the corner of N 165th and Aurora.

The City of Shoreline and Lake City Partners have announced plans to work in partnership with King County to turn the former Oaks Nursing Home at 16357 Aurora Ave N in Shoreline into a 24/7 "enhanced shelter" for homeless individuals. The shelter will help address an unmet need in North King County for a 24/7 shelter.

The City and representatives from Lake City Partners will host a community meeting via Zoom on September 22, 2020 at 6:30pm to go over the plans for the facility, answer questions, and to listen to the community’s concerns. Representatives from King County will also attend and be available for questions. Go to for information on how to participate in the meeting.

“The City of Shoreline is deeply committed to taking on the challenge of homelessness in our community, but it is no less committed to ensuring that all of our neighborhoods are safe and healthy,” stated Shoreline Mayor Will Hall. 
“We believe this shelter can provide a needed service to our community while also being a good neighbor.”

“After many years of coordinating services for people experiencing homelessness in the north King County area, Lake City Partners is very pleased with the opportunity to expand shelter to a 24/7 year-round model,” said Melanie Neufeld, Director of Lake City Partners. 

“Our housing outreach, day center, and winter shelter programs have built relationships with people living without homes with the goal of ending homelessness one household at a time. Last year we supported 124 households from homelessness into permanent housing. 

"The Aurora Oaks facility provides a real opportunity to create safety for people living outside during this pandemic and offers a setting to be solution-focused in the work of transitioning people into safe and affordable housing.”

When the Shoreline City Council adopted its 2020-2022 Council Goals, it made siting a 24/7 shelter to serve homeless single adults in north King County a priority. In early July, the owner of the Oaks Nursing Home notified the City that they were planning on selling the facility. Since this is an unanticipated opportunity, the City, in partnership with King County, has had to move quickly to secure the site.

Its prior use as a nursing home makes the facility particularly well-suited to provide a safe housing option. 

Separate rooms are the best way to protect both residents and staff from spreading Coronavirus or other airborne illness. 

In addition, having a shelter with individual rooms provides more dignity to individuals as they work to stabilize their health and find permanent housing. 

The facility is already fully accessible and is equipped with basic fire safety requirements, including an alarm and sprinkler system. In addition, it is on a major arterial and close to a bus stop. Being presented with a facility that needs little work to make it shelter-ready is a unique opportunity to quickly provide a resource that has been missing in our community.

Enhanced Shelter is a particular type of Emergency Shelter that serves guests seven days a week around the clock. It recognizes that individuals need to have safe and stable shelter to effectively address the challenges preventing long-term housing stability. 

Access to the shelter will be based on an individual’s ability to maintain behaviors that are safe in a community setting. 

The Shelter will also provide case management, meals, hygiene, health services, and laundry. Drug and alcohol use will not be allowed in the facility. Local first responders; social service agencies in Shoreline and North King County; and outreach staff employed by the program will refer individuals to the facility.

Lake City Partners will run the facility. This organization, formed out of a neighborhood task force beginning in 2007, has coordinated winter shelter for the last five years. Since 2018, they have partnered with the City of Shoreline to provide homeless outreach services and last winter supported the operation of the severe weather shelter in Shoreline. 

Lake City Partners works with a network of more than 600 volunteers including members of the faith community, social service organizations, homeless advocates, governmental agencies, and neighbors to provide shelter and housing navigation services to help bring stability to individuals facing homelessness.

King County is providing funding to purchase the property for use in the near-term as a 24/7 enhanced shelter, with a long-term plan to redevelop the property for permanent supportive housing. Operational funding for the enhanced shelter is expected from King County, pending approval of a grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce. The City of Shoreline will provide additional operational funding.

The Shoreline City Council’s decision to collaborate with King County is driven, in part, by the rising number of people experiencing homelessness in Shoreline and our neighboring North King County communities. 

There is a demonstrated need for more shelter space, both locally and regionally. The annual “Point-In-Time” count in 2020 found 260 people experiencing homelessness in north King County, with 56 of them unsheltered.


Linda Julien August 29, 2020 at 12:18 AM  

This is so needed and such an opportunity. I am happy that the community concerns will be addressed.

Anonymous,  August 29, 2020 at 6:55 AM  

On Public Comment to the Shoreline City Council 27 people opposed this. 1 was for it, 1 was neutral. The Council is on vacation, so how did this pass?

Anonymous,  August 30, 2020 at 8:18 AM  

Because it needed to. That's why.

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