As Bellevue has grown in population and transitioned into a more urban environment, homelessness, a nationwide issue, has become more visible here. According to the 2020 Count Us In report, 446 unsheltered people were found in East King County, up from 337 in 2019.
Do you need help?
The Shelters and Safe Parking and Food Banks and Programs pages are a resource for individuals and families in need. You can also contact Bellevue's homelessness outreach administrator Nathan Hord (425-516-4642 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Addressing the Problem
Root causes of homelessness include lack of affordable housing, low-paying jobs, domestic violence, chronic health problems, substance abuse and mental health issues. The Human Services Needs Update provides a snapshot about the needs throughout our community, including homelessness.
To prevent homelessness if possible and, when it does occur, transition individuals back into stable housing as soon as possible, the city:
- has adopted and begun implementing an affordable housing strategy
- funds nonprofit organizations serving people experiencing homelessness
- funds subsidized housing
- has outreach staff to connect people experiencing homelessness to services
- hosts a year-round men's shelter
- leverages community partnerships in hosting rotating winter shelters
Eastside Men's Shelter
The city supports the establishment of a permanent men's shelter in Bellevue and in 2018 adopted a land use code amendment that establishes a path for nonprofit and faith-based organizations seeking to establish them. In early 2021, Congregations for the Homeless applied for a conditional use permit for an Eastside men's shelter in Eastgate.
Health Through Housing
King County, through its Health Through Housing initiative, is working to create 1,600 units of permanent supportive housing (featuring 24/7 staffing that offers case management, employment counseling and medical/behavioral health services). The county is purchasing former hotels, including ones in Redmond and Kirkland, and converting them into housing for people experiencing chronic homelessness. For additional information, see Health Through Housing or email email@example.com.
If you are concerned about a potential unauthorized encampment, please report it via the MyBellevue portal or on your phone via the MyBellevue app. Details about the city's response are available at Encampments, Living in Cars.