Compassion House seeking donations ahead of duplex project

August 11, 2009

By Warren Kagarise

This rendering shows a proposed two-story duplex, transitional housing facility along Southeast Andrews Street. Contributed

This rendering shows a proposed two-story duplex, transitional housing facility along Southeast Andrews Street. Contributed

Volunteers at the nonprofit Compassion House could soon break ground on a transitional housing facility. City planners have approved a plan to build a two-story duplex along Southeast Andrews Street.

John Williams, executive director, volunteer and board member for the Issaquah faith-based organization, said the demand for transitional housing is high. Transitional housing is used to help people move from homelessness into permanent residences.

“The phone is busy all the time,” he said. “There’s a big need in our area.”

The coming addition to Compassion House options will consist of two units, each about 1,300 square feet. The duplex will include a shared laundry area and a common meeting room. The first-floor unit will be accessible for handicapped residents.

A parking area with four stalls will be available in the alley behind the duplex. Crews will also improve landscaping throughout the site.The duplex will be built on vacant land at 260 S.E. Andrews St., next to another Compassion House transitional housing unit.

The duplex will be the first project constructed by Compassion House volunteers from the ground up.

People who own property within 300 feet of the site were notified about the construction, per standard city procedure. City Senior Planner Christopher Wright said the city did not receive any comments related to the project.

Wright said Compassion House leaders would likely receive building permits within a few weeks. Williams said volunteers for the nonprofit hoped to break ground by the end of August.

Before volunteers pick up hammers and begin work on the new house, Compassion House leaders are seeking donations to pay for the project.

In addition to providing transitional housing, Compassion House volunteers offer life coaching and other services to help former transitional housing residents sustain themselves. Volunteers help former homeless people with finances, transportation and other social services.

The Rev. Mark Miller, pastor of Mountain Creek Christian Fellowship, founded Compassion House in 1998 after seeing local families struggling.

Compassion House operates an efficiency apartment and the Monti House. The historic Monti House — built in 1900 — was moved to its Southeast Andrews Street lot in December 2004. The building had fallen into disrepair and city officials considered razing it. But Compassion House instead paid to have the house moved and renovated.

Williams said Compassion House would advertise the new units after construction is complete.

“When we’re built, we’ll spread the word and start taking applications,” he said.

On the Web

Learn how to donate to Compassion House at www.compassion-house.org.

Reach Reporter Warren Kagarise at 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.

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