Published April 18 2017
Two other sites to be considered over 45-day period
In a 4-to-3 vote Monday night, the City Council gave preliminary approval on siting the proposed Eastside men's shelter and supportive housing project at the Eastgate site, located at 14350 SE Eastgate Way, while considering the viability of two other sites over the next 45 days.
Following a study session, extended public comment period and discussion, the council decided to further explore two additional sites:
- Lincoln Center, 515 116th Ave. NE: a city-owned facility where a portion of the southern office building is the current interim site for the Eastside Winter Shelter.
- Sound Transit Operations and Maintenance Facility Eastside, located along 120th Avenue Northeast and just north of the future Spring Boulevard, in the BelRed area. A large portion of the site is required for the maintenance facility, with future transit-oriented development planned for the location after construction of the facility is complete and any remaining property is determined to be surplus.
During the 45-day period, city staff will study the viability of the Lincoln Center and Sound Transit sites for the men's shelter and supportive housing, in addition to the Eastgate site. These findings will be presented to the council later this spring. If the alternatives are deemed unviable locations by the council, the project would proceed at the Eastgate site as originally proposed.
The current proposal calls for the shelter and supportive housing facility to be in the Eastgate neighborhood on King County-owned land, which is home to the Eastgate Public Health Center. The site is adjacent to the Eastgate Park and Ride and near Bellevue College. As proposed, the shelter would operate under a low-barrier model, meaning the facility generally would not turn anyone in need away; however strict standards for behavior and clear protocols for anyone not meeting those standards would be part of the operating model.
The primary goals are to protect homeless men from severe weather, connect them with services and ultimately put them on the path towards sustainability. In addition, the council reiterated that the city will work with Congregations for the Homeless and the surrounding community in addressing public safety concerns while also employing appropriate mitigations for the facility to be compatible with the final site location.
Establishing a permanent Eastside shelter is a 2016-17 City Council Vision Priority . The project is proposed in partnership with King County, a coordinator of regional funds for homelessness and affordable housing; Congregations for the Homeless, the operator of the shelter and day center; and Imagine Housing, the service provider and developer of the supportive housing component.