If you are looking for shelter, information about Bellevue's temporary men's shelter is available at Food Banks and Shelters.
The City Council Vision priorities direct the city to “work toward an Eastside solution for a permanent location for a men’s winter homeless shelter.” This priority echoes the council’s 2014 Diversity Advantage plan, which includes an action item for “supporting the establishment of a year-round homeless shelter on the Eastside.”
To that end, the city has hosted a men's shelter in interim locations since the winter of 2008, shifting to a year-round model in 2019. A 100-bed facility at Lincoln Center in Wilburton, just across Interstate 405 from downtown, is the current interim shelter location. In 2018, after considerable public input, the city adopted a land use code amendment for homeless shelters that establishes a path for nonprofit and faith-based organizations seeking to establish them in Bellevue.
To ensure communication between the community and homeless services providers, the code amendment calls for a Good Neighbor Agreement Advisory Committee that includes residents who live within a mile of a proposed shelter.
Permanent site in Eastgate proposed
In January 2021, Congregations for the Homeless applied for a conditional use permit to build a permanent men's shelter in Eastgate. CFH has been negotiating with King County on the purchase of surplus county property at 13620 SE Eastgate Way.
CFH has partnered with Inland Group, Horizon Housing Alliance and Plymouth Housing to develop the 9-acre parcel into an Eastgate Housing campus, featuring a day center as well as a shelter.
Community meetings on Nov. 5, 2020 and Feb. 4, 2021 have provided an open dialogue between the applicant, the operator and surrounding property owners. The city's Jan. 21 notice of application (Weekly Permit Bulletin) offers details about the project.
Winter Shelter History
Since the winter of 2008, Bellevue has hosted a low-barrier men’s shelter, located at interim sites in four different neighborhoods: Crossroads, Northeast Bellevue, BelRed, downtown and Wilburton. A day services center has also operated downtown.
Recognizing the challenges of a temporary shelter, the City Council set a goal to establish the shelter at a permanent location. As of September 2019, thanks to generous community financial support for needed fire and life safety improvements, the temporary shelter is operating at Lincoln Center on 116th Avenue Northeast, for use until the fall of 2022.
Comprehensive Plan Shelter Policies
The city's Comprehensive Plan, adopted in 2015, calls for city support for shelters, with the following provisions:
- HO-35: Support regional efforts to prevent homelessness, and make homelessness rare, brief, and one-time when it occurs. Provide a range of affordable housing options and support efforts to move homeless persons and families to long-term financial independence.
- HO-36: Collaborate with other jurisdictions and social service organizations to assure availability of emergency shelter and day centers that address homelessness.
- HS-14: Support agencies locating human service facilities in Bellevue and, where appropriate, encourage efficiencies through agency collocation and collaboration.
- HS-18: Support an intentional local community response to homelessness with housing and supportive services provided to families, youth and single adults.