I wrote the following to Next Door regarding the men’s homeless shelter being considered next to Bellevue College and the Eastgate Park and Ride. It is important to do a data driven analysis of the site. It is not enough to say “it has to go somewhere.” It should go in the best place possible for both the homeless and the needs of those already in the area. What are the costs versus the benefits? In other areas where this type of housing was established, what happened to the number of police calls? The number of ambulance calls? The revenues of nearby businesses? The values of houses in the area? Attendance at schools?
There will be lost economic growth potential. There will be lost quality of life. Businesses will relocate. There will be increased pressure for student rental housing north of the college. The city is already having challenges enforcing the individual room rentals ban. The south end of campus would have been perfect for college housing.
I believe there is a better location for the men’s homeless shelter that would have fewer negative impacts to the surrounding area and still meet homeless men’s unique needs. Balance is key.