Bellevue City Council approves additional funding for year-round shelter

The funding will enable the Men’s Winter Shelter at Lincoln Center to operate year-round.

The Bellevue City Council voted Monday (Aug. 5) to amend Ordinance 6445, a decision that results in a $585,630 increase for appropriation to the 2019-2020 Human Services Fund for Congregations for the Homeless (CFH).

The amendment, effective starting on Aug. 15, will provide additional operating funding for the Men’s Winter Shelter at Lincoln Center, enabling it to run year-round. It also covers day-center services and funding for shelter-service expenses at an interim downtown “bridge” location for homeless men.

Previous funding for the CFH through 2020 was seasonal. The amendment additionally comes after a mid-2018 conclusion from the city council that Bellevue would be better served if its current seasonal men’s shelter were refurbished into a 24-hour facility, regardless of if an interim location had to be used.

Services are expected to begin in September 2019.

As announced by the city in an Aug. 1 press release, a downtown “bridge” site at Northeast 8th Street and 108th Avenue Northeast provided by Cloudvue will work as a temporary shelter while current winter shelter, Lincoln Center, is brought up to fire-code regulations.

Once the Lincoln Center’s renovations are complete, it is on track to function as a year-round shelter. The center, where upgrades have been entirely funded by private community donations, is slated for completion in late November.

“The opening of the bridge site and availability of year-round services in Bellevue demonstrates our strong commitment to provide our most vulnerable individuals with a pathway out of homelessness,” Bellevue City Councilmember Janice Zahn said in a press release. “These available beds, hand in hand with the necessary services, change lives and directly contribute to overall community benefits, including public safety for everyone.”

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. After minor tenant improvements are made on the property, it will temporarily function strictly as an overnight shelter, with other services provided by the Lincoln Center.

“This partnership between the city, business community and Congregations for the Homeless is quite an achievement,” Bellevue City Councilmember John Stokes said in a press release. “We’re seeing the positive results from Bellevue’s strategic and thoughtful approach to addressing homelessness. Opening the bridge and offering year-round support services will change lives for the better and benefit our entire community. Thank you everyone who came together to make this big step happen.”

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