Bellevue celebrates year-round emergency shelter opening

Congregation for the Homeless opened its first permanent year-round shelter Jan. 13.

Bellevue now has a permanent year-round men’s emergency shelter.

Bellevue leaders, business owners, developers, engineers, volunteers and supporters gathered to celebrate the recently completed retrofit of Congregation for the Homeless (CFH)’s men’s year-round emergency shelter on Jan. 13. The collaborative effort raised $827,000 to bring the shelter up to code.

“It’s an amazing feeling to finally have it,” CFH executive director David Bowling said. “It’s amazing to be a part of this.”

At the Jan. 13 ribbon-cutting event, Mayor Lynne Robinson said she was grateful to know there’s a place for homeless men to receive assistance.

“Now when we find a man sleeping or living outside we can direct him to this shelter, year-round, and know that he will receive the assistance he needs to recover, recuperate and thrive,” Robinson said. “I want to thank Kevin Wallace for all he has done to make this shelter possible, former Mayor Chelminiak for his leadership and support of this project, and I especially want to thank David Bowling and CFH for partnering with the city of Bellevue to address this critical need.”

Local developer and former Bellevue city councilmember Kevin Wallace highlighted the accomplishment by thanking multiple sectors of the community for coming together. Former mayor John Chelminiak reminded the crowd about the need for the community to again come together to support the exciting campus vision of the site next to Seattle Humane on Eastgate Way—the anticipated future permanent location of the emergency men’s shelter and services. As planned, that neighborhood campus also will include 300 units of affordable housing for families plus 80 units of housing for men and women exiting homelessness.

Last year, the city of Bellevue announced it would begin providing year-round emergency shelter for men starting in September 2019. The early start date was made possible by an agreement with Cloudvue to allow CFH to use their property at Northeast 8th Street and 108th Avenue Northeast as a temporary “bridge” shelter while the current shelter improvements were made. The “bridge” location has been used in the past by the CFH and the Sophia Way, a nonprofit working to support unhoused women in King County.

Bowling said he felt grateful to everyone who helped make the shelter a reality.

“Now we have a safer community. Men have a safer, more dignified place to go and receive help,” he said. “None of this could have been possible without the diverse group of supporters and resources.”

To learn more about CFH, go online to