White Center shelter: What the county’s saying, post-meeting

As noted here over the weekend, King County has posted an FAQ on their webpage about the proposed White Center shelter at the former Public Health clinic on 8th SW at SW 108th. They’ve also added their minutes of last Thursday night’s meeting – read the 9-plus pages of notes here. (Our comprehensive coverage, including video of the entire meeting, is here.)

We had asked some followup questions, and the answers largely came back as the same verbiage in the FAQ.

We asked: How soon will a date be set for the second meeting?

Reply, almost exactly the same as the “what are the next steps?” FAQ reply: “King County will work on suggestions and input given by community members including the possibility of alternate locations and/or reshaping the shelter program. Once this work has been completed, King County will discuss these options with community members.”

We asked: Will the project be put on hold in the meantime as requested, or is it going forward with permit application and whatever work is under way?

The second part was not answered (so we’ll be asking again) – the permit filing is a particularly relevant point, as, before the meeting, the county had told us that they expected to submit the filing right after the meeting. To “will the project be put on hold?” the reply was: We are taking a step back to consider the input we received from the community.

Noting that multiple attendees at Thursday’s meeting had said this had been under discussion for “a year,” without that being refuted by anyone from the county or Salvation Army, we asked if that timeline were true. The reply was almost word-for-word what’s in the FAQ as the reply to “How long has King County been planning to site a shelter in White Center?” – Executive Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced a homeless state of emergency last November. Following that declaration, King County began an exploration of county buildings and properties to see if any might be feasible for use as housing or shelter. At the same time, we also looked at our data to determine geographic areas of need. Upon our initial review, the nearly vacant White Center Public Health building entered consideration. The first planning connected to the White Center site began in May with a physical assessment of the site followed by working with partners to develop the service program. Upon completion of this phase, King County sent out the public meeting notice in late August with the meeting being held on Sept. 15.

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5 Responses to “White Center shelter: What the county’s saying, post-meeting”

  1. Why wasn’t the shelter mentioned at the County’s annual CSA meeting May 24th?

  2. I think it is a bad idea to have a homeless shelter in White Center. We already have a big problem with a lot of street people in white center, which seems to have increased a lot in the past few years; which lead to an increase of mailbox theft and car break ins and assaults and house break ins
    What is going to happen in the day time with 100 plus homeless people wandering the streets and neighborhood of white center? I already feel unsafe around certain bus stops which is a hang out for the street people or people who just hang out there doing nothing.
    Also the pawn shop that is across the street from Taco Time is now being tag with graffiti and street people have been sleeping there and leaving junk and also and leaving all their junk (shopping carts full of stuff and other stuff) in the alleys around the neighborhood this has all occurred since the store closed down.
    what about my rights as a property owner? It seems like the government already had a plan and they do not care what they people who live in the area feel or how they will be impacted.
    I bet they would not like a homeless shelter in their backyard.

  3. So, this matter has been under discussion for “a year,” yet ONLY IN AN ELECTION YEAR they’re concerned with people freezing to death come November? Funny how that works out.

  4. thanks for your continued updates, & seeking answers about all our questions from KC.

  5. I am also curious as to what type of impact this will have on the White Center Food Bank, and to all the current people in our community who use it.

    Will the 70 plus homeless people be using the facility too?
    As I often donate to them. Will they have enough food to disperse to the regulars who have been using the facility already?