King County is expanding the current overnight shelter in Harborview Hall on Seattle’s First Hill to add onsite counseling and case management, showers and laundry facilities, meals and other services through an enhanced 24/7 shelter model that will help 85 men and women begin a pathway out of homelessness.
Late last year, King County opened an overnight shelter in the historic Harborview Hall building located at 326 Ninth Avenue. After completing significant renovations to the building, the County is expanding the shelter to provide not just a warm, safe bed, but also an array of services and supports for people experiencing homelessness. The 24/7 enhanced shelter will welcome up to 85 adults and their pets. The Salvation Army is the service provider.
“We know we are most successful in helping people exit homelessness when we combine a safe place to sleep with a range of onsite services that rebuild health and stability,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “We are continuing to deploy all available resources, including unused or underused county land and buildings, in the fight against homelessness across our region.”
While shelter provides important protections from the weather and other dangers, the addition of onsite case management and other supportive services has shown to make the most difference in moving people from homeless to housed.
Already this year, the County’s 40-bed West Wing Enhanced Shelter in downtown Seattle has successfully helped 16 people move into stable housing.
Renovations to the first floor of the building included a new welcome and check-in desk and new offices for confidential counseling and case management. The remodel added a dining room and a warming kitchen. Two meals a day will be offered. A small lounge is available for socialization, reading or small group meetings and an outdoor area with tables and chairs has been designed in a small courtyard.
New showers, ADA-accessible bathrooms and a laundry room were added to the first floor. Storage space will be available for those who wish to lock up personal belongings during the day.
“For our homeless neighbors at Harborview Hall, the 24/7 facility will be their home-base as they work to improve their situation,” said Lt. Colonel Bill Dickinson, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army in the Northwest. “They can visit the shelter throughout the day as needed – from hygiene necessities of showers and laundry, to meeting with caseworkers for guidance in transitioning to independent housing.”
The Salvation Army will use a bed reservation and referral system to fill the beds. In collaboration with Harborview Medical Center, the Salvation Army holds five beds open each night for patients who are receiving assistance from the hospital and need a shelter bed overnight. Because it is now open 24/7, the shelter also supports people who work irregular hours who will be able to come and go to work.
Annual operating cost for the 24/7 enhanced shelter is $2.2 million and the contract with the Salvation Army is managed by King County’s Department of Community and Human Services.
The County’s Facilities Management Division of the Department of Executive Services oversaw the renovations to the building during 2019, which cost just over $2 million.
We know we are most successful in helping people exit homelessness when we combine a safe place to sleep with a range of onsite services that rebuild health and stability. We are continuing to deploy all available resources, including unused or underused county land and buildings, in the fight against homelessness across our region.
King County is bringing every resource we have at hand to respond to our region’s homelessness crisis. The shelter and added services provided at Harborview Hall are a critical addition to keeping folks alive and on a path to recovery and permanent housing. This is King County doing what we do best: serving our neighbors with compassion.
Shelter doesn’t mean having a simple roof over your head for a night, it means having a safe and supportive place to figure things out when you’re in a tough spot in life. I’m proud King County is moving forward to provide true shelter and support for even more individuals as they do the hard work of getting back on their feet. There’s more to do, but this is an important step at a critical time.
For our homeless neighbors at Harborview Hall, the 24/7 facility will be their home-base as they work to improve their situation. They can visit the shelter throughout the day as needed – from hygiene necessities of showers and laundry, to meeting with caseworkers for guidance in transitioning to independent housing.
For more information, contact:
Sherry Hamilton, DCHS, 206-263-9010