A shelter for women and families with children experiencing homelessness is one step closer to becoming a reality in Kirkland.
In early October, the King County Department of Community and Human Services, Housing and Community Development announced approval of funding in the form of a loan of up to $2 million to construct the shelter. The Kirkland shelter for families and women will be located on 11920 NE 80th St. and will provide up to 50 beds for families with children and 48 beds for women.
The shelter will be the only one on the Eastside to serve women and families as the Eastside cities of Bellevue and Redmond focus on serving men and young people, respectively.
In addition to capital funds, the shelter will receive a conditional award of operating and services funding from the Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy of $500,000 per year, up to a maximum of $2.5 million for up to five years.
“Securing this funding was a vital step to moving this important project forward,” said Kirkland Mayor Amy Walen in a release. “On behalf of the Kirkland City Council and all the parties that have been working tirelessly to make this project a reality, I would like to thank the King County Department of Community and Human Services for their support in making this shelter a reality.”
The shelter will also receive support from the city of Kirkland ($1.15 million), A Regional Coalition for Housing ($1.224 million) the state of Washington ($2.35 million) and other Eastside cities ($200,000). Both The New Bethlehem Project and The Sophia Way are on their way to reaching their goal of $2 million, through outside supports and their own private fundraisers.
To secure a Kirkland site for a permanent shelter for women and families, the city entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Holy Spirit Lutheran Church and Salt House Church in early 2017. The shelter will be constructed by Catholic Housing Services. Family services will be provided by Catholic Community Services (CCS) of Western Washington and the women’s services will be provided by The Sophia Way.
According to the release, the core component of the shelter is “low-barrier access in an environment that is welcoming to all.” Case management will be provided to clients by CCS and The Sophia Way. Case managers will focus on obtaining housing and addressing other areas of need. There will be a path from homelessness to stable independent living for clients.
The developer is currently targeting for spring 2019 construction to begin and the city anticipates the construction of the shelter to be completed in 2020.