Support for Bellevue men’s shelter| Letter

I am a Bellevue resident living about two miles from the proposed Eastgate location for a permanent mens’ shelter. I would like to express my support for the shelter, its location and our city for stepping up to combat homelessness.

Most of the men who would be housed are people that are already living in our midst. Good data does not support the concern that crime rates increase near homeless shelters. With its close access to transit, health care, and Bellevue College (which has come out in support of the shelter) Eastgate is an ideal location for this service. Making the shelter “low barrier” is important because that is the best way to help homeless people access services to deal with mental illness and addiction. It is nearly impossible for people living on the streets to stay connected to these services.

I work in health care and meet many homeless people in my job. Most are just trying to live their lives and grapple with their challenges, like the rest of us. I am proud of our city for doing what we can to help our region tackle this extremely difficult problem.

Kimberly McDermott