New 24/7 Shelter Opens in North Seattle for 40 Homeless People

Seattle, WA – In response to Seattle Mayor Durkan’s Proclamation of Civil Emergency in the fight against COVID-19, the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) is opening Lakefront Community House, an enhanced shelter located at 600 North 130th St. in the Bitter Lake neighborhood of Seattle. Lakefront Community House will have 24/7 staff, on-site case management and will shelter homeless individuals and couples referred by the city’s Navigation Team. 

“Many homeless seniors and those with compromised health conditions are living unsheltered on the streets and are at risk of exposure to the coronavirus. They need a supportive place to live during the pandemic. In addition, individuals who’ve had surgery and who have been discharged from a hospital need a safe, warm place to recover and should not be returned to the streets,” states Sharon Lee, LIHI Executive Director. All shelter residents must test negative for COVID-19 or show no symptoms when admitted. Residents must also sign and abide by a strict Code of Conduct. 

“The opening of this new shelter means that Seattle’s enhanced and tiny house village capacity has increased by nearly 100 spaces since March–an unprecedented effort to create safe places for people living unsheltered,” said Jason Johnson, director of the Seattle Human Services Department. “Thanks to the leadership of Mayor Durkan and all the City departments involved, coupled with the strong partnership with LIHI, we are able to serve more vulnerable people during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. Thank you to everyone that made this happen so quickly.” 

In partnership with the Seattle Human Services Department, LIHI opened up 95 tiny houses and beds for homeless people in response to Covid-19. In addition to Lakefront Community House, last week LIHI opened a new tiny house village in the Central Area, T.C. Spirit Village, located at 612 22nd Ave., and doubled the size of Lake Union Village (LUV) located at 800 Aloha St. in South Lake Union. 

Press are invited to visit Lakefront Community House on Wednesday, April 22, 10am – 1pm, on a first come first serve staggered basis to ensure small groups and physical distance between persons. RSVP required to Josh Castle along with confirmation – (206) 334-0508 / josh.castle@lihi.org. 

Lakefront Community House includes 28 furnished residential rooms with separate rooms for men, women and couples. People with pets are allowed. The 18,000 SF building also includes a community dining room, commercial kitchen, activity rooms, counseling offices, and management and security offices. The building has around the clock staffing and an apartment for an on-site live-in manager. Case management staff will help residents obtain housing, employment, health care, education, and other services. The village is receiving operational support from the Seattle Human Services Department. LIHI owns the property, which was previously leased by another agency to provide residential treatment for women in recovery from chemical dependency and their children. 

In less than a month, LIHI staff, neighbors and volunteers worked together to set up Lakefront Community House quickly—and with careful adherence to social distancing. 

In February, the Seattle City Council voted to amend the original permitted encampment ordinance to allow the continuation of the existing tiny house villages that would have otherwise sunset and permit up to 40 sites which could include tiny house villages, other forms of enhanced shelter, tent encampments, and safe parking to be authorized throughout the city. 

If interested in learning more about LIHI’s enhanced shelter, tiny houses, or other programs or if you wish to donate items, email tinyhouses@lihi.org. If you wish to volunteer, email volunteer@lihi.org. Find more information about enhanced shelter or tiny houses on LIHI’s website: lihi.org/tiny-houses. 

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