Issaquah joins effort to increase access to shelter beds for homeless

December 18, 2012

By Staff

Just as the mercury started to drop, 135 additional emergency winter shelter beds opened for homeless men and women, thanks in part to funding from Issaquah and other Eastside cities.

Issaquah joined Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond and Sammamish to increase funding for winter shelter. More funding from the United Way of King County allows East King County organizations to add emergency shelter beds.

Congregations for the Homeless added 15 additional beds each night for homeless men, and Sophia Way plans to add 10 more beds for women and children, and remain open a month longer than originally planned.

“Even as we work to create permanent housing, we are working to increase the emergency shelter options to help people in our community who have no place now to sleep,” King County Executive Dow Constantine, Governing Board of the Committee to End Homelessness co-chairman, said in a statement.

What to know

Learn more about the number of available shelter beds at the Committee to End Homelessness’ website, www.cehkc.org. Call Janice Hougen, homeless housing planner in the King County Department of Community and Human Services, at 206-263-9089, to learn more about winter shelter operations.

Regionally, local governments and organizations offer 1,700 shelter beds each night for single adults. The shelter bed capacity increases for six months during the coldest time of year from October through March, when groups add more than 500 beds to increase winter response shelter availability.

“United Way of King County believes that everyone should have a safe place to call home, and we invest in long-term solutions like supportive housing to help end homelessness,” Jon Fine, United Way of King County president and CEO, said in a statement. “We are making progress, but we also understand the importance of meeting immediate needs. We are pleased that the additional funding by United Way and our partners will help to meet these needs by providing additional emergency shelter during the coming winter months.”

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