North King County Enhanced Shelter opens

Friday, April 2, 2021

The reception area at the shelter the day before it opened
Photo courtesy King county

King County councilmember Rod Dembowski and County Executive Dow Constantine, toured the Lake City Partners new shelter at 16357 Aurora Avenue on March 31st ahead of its April 1st opening. They were joined by City of Shoreline and King County Housing Authority representatives. The shelter will support 60 individuals, prioritizing those experiencing homelessness in the City of Shoreline.

On April 1, Lake City Partners began providing services at the North King County Enhanced Shelter in Shoreline. 

Located in the former Oaks Nursing Home located at 16357 Aurora Avenue N, the Enhanced Shelter will provide 24/7 shelter services for up to 60 individuals when fully operational. 

The City of Shoreline and Lake City Partners (LCP) worked in partnership with King County and King County Housing Authority (KCHA) to quickly turn the former nursing home into an enhanced shelter to help address an unmet need for a 24/7 shelter in North King County.

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 COVID or other airborne illness. In addition, individual rooms provide privacy and security for residents as they work to stabilize their health and find permanent housing.

An enhanced shelter is a particular type of emergency shelter that serves individuals 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 once it is fully operational.

Rod Dembowski and Dow Constantine tour the new facility
Photo courtesy King county

King County Executive Dow Constantine, King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski, and staff from Shoreline and KCHA toured the facility on March 31. Lake City Partners began moving in approximately 20 individuals from their winter shelter program on April 1. LCP will not operate the Shelter at full capacity for several weeks as it ramps up operations.

“A former nursing home in Shoreline has new life and a new purpose as it opens to bring indoors 60 people in North King County who are currently experiencing homelessness,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. 
“This extraordinary collaboration with the City of Shoreline ensures that guests not only find a safe place to sleep in a room of their own, but they can also connect to the onsite services they need to rebuild health and stability. ”

“We are committed to taking on the challenge of homelessness in our community,” stated Shoreline Mayor Will Hall. “We believe this shelter can provide a much needed service for our community while also being a good neighbor.”

“I want to express my deep gratitude to Lake City Partners, the City of Shoreline, the King County Housing Authority and our own Department of Community and Human Services,” said King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski. 
“We came together in a tremendous partnership to take care of the most vulnerable in our community. This housing will save lives and represents the best in community action to solve our most pressing local challenge.”

“KCHA is delighted to partner with King County, the City of Shoreline and Lake City Partners on this critical project,” said Stephen Norman, Executive Director King County Housing Authority. “This is one of a number of efforts we are participating in across the county. It is more essential now than ever that safe shelter and an adequate supply of permanent affordable housing be available in our community.”

"Pre-Covid, people relied on coffee shops, libraries, faith-based and other public spaces as well as shelter and other homeless services to find a sense of community, warmth, and shared experience,” stated Melanie Neufeld, Director of Lake City Partners. 
“This last year has been extremely difficult with no place to go. After this experience of isolation - something that we can all relate to –we are so grateful to be able to welcome 60 single adults and couples into a warm space where they won't be told they have to leave at a certain time, can have their own privacy, and start to feel human again/part of community again."


One of the rooms at the enhanced shelter
Photo courtesy King county

KCHA provided the interim funding to purchase the property for use in the near-term as a 24/7 enhanced shelter. King County will provide the long-term acquisition financing and has a long-term plan to redevelop the property for permanent supportive housing.

Operational funding for the enhanced shelter will come largely from King County through a grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce. The City will provide additional operational funding.

Lake City Partners will operate the program. This organization, formed out of a neighborhood task force beginning in 2007, has coordinated a winter shelter for the last five years. 

Since 2018, they have partnered with the City to provide homeless outreach services and have supported the operation of the severe weather shelter in Shoreline the past two winters. 

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.

Updated financial information 4-6-2021


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