Proposed Bellevue homeless shelter draws opposition
BELLEVUE, Wash. (AP) — A proposal to build a permanent men’s homeless shelter with a day center and 40 to 60 units of transitional housing near Interstate 90 in Bellevue is meeting with opposition from neighbors.
The Seattle Times reports ( http://bit.ly/2exU7Kp ) about 1,700 residents have signed a petition opposing the location and raising concerns about crime, an influx of homeless people from Seattle, and the impacts to the surrounding community.
“A facility of that size and magnitude, it will attract people, hundreds of people,” said Tzachi Litov, who lives about a mile south of the site. “It feels like King County wants to move their problems to Eastgate.”
City and county leaders say it’s critical for cities outside of Seattle to step up and address the homelessness crisis that led to the declaration of a regional emergency a year ago. They say that Congregations for the Homeless has an excellent record of moving people into permanent housing from its smaller men’s shelter that has rotated among a dozen Eastside churches since 1993.
Advocates praise the location of the proposed shelter, adjacent to a Metro park-and-ride lot and on the same 4.3-acre property as a clinic for Public Health — Seattle & King County County.A wooded hillside behind the site rises to Bellevue College.
“The bus service is fabulous. Public Health is next door. The college, with its job training and WorkSource center, is just up the hill. It’s not just a good site, it’s the best site I’ve ever seen,” said Steve Roberts, managing director of Congregations for the Homeless.
The Bellevue City Council will hold a study session on the permanent shelter and supportive housing plan Nov?. 28 at City Hall. A final decision could be made in early 2017. If approved, the new shelter facility could open in 2019.