The UGM operated shelter is here directly as a result of a request put forth by Melanie and Jonathan Neufeld, the acting chairs of the Lake City Taskforce on Homelessness. As mentioned in an earlier post, they came here in 2007 on religious worker visas from Canada and were invited by Weldon Nisly, the pastor of the local Mennonite Church. They are full-time employees of the church and specifically work on advocacy for the homeless.
Some area residents and business owners continue to suffer from incidents related to Chronic Public Inebriety in our area. Stavros Panos recently hired a full-time security guard for his property to deal with ongoing issues on his property- especially along 30th Ave NE across the street from the shelter where 2 people have died of drug overdoses last year. Bank of America hired a full time security guard last fall. Fred Meyer ( which now has wheel locks on the carts) and other local grocery stores have an ongoing problem with shopping cart theft. The Cedar Park Senior Housing across the street from the shelter had to put in place new building access policies to stop homeless people from entering and sleeping in their building. Business owners still are reporting human urine, vomit, and feces on their properties. Loitering and public drinking are still a problem, most notably: in front of the post office, behind the Grocery Outlet, in front of the 99 cent store, in front of the Dollar Plus store, at the Chevron on 130th, and the other side of 30th from the Pierre Parts and Services building.
DPC litter patrols have found human feces and hypodermic needles in front of the Seattle Gymnastics Academy on 28th (around the corner from the shelter) where many children go during the day. A 10 day period of alcohol empties collected on the DPC weekly walk route has produced a list of over 80 high volume alcohol cans.
Below are requests that were made by Advisory Council community members to UGM and the City.
1. Requested UGM not accept referrals from other parts of the city as publicly agreed to. ( The initial agreement was that they were coming here to serve the local population of homeless and that they would not be taking people in from other areas of the city. )
The Lake City Winter Shelter accepted referrals from Harborview, Northwest Hospital, Seattle Police, and many by word of mouth. (Note: Psychiatric patients at Harborview were referred to Lake City Winter Shelter by a Harborview employee and Mennonite church member, despite the fact that the Lake City Winter Shelter does not offer psychiatric services.)
2. Requested City official to be present at Shelter Advisory Committee meetings (first request prior to shelter opening):
No city officials have attended the eight Shelter Advisory meetings as of 2/11/12. Darryl Smith ( the Deputy Mayor ) said in a phone call on 2/8/12 that he has not attended any of the meetings and has not read any of the minutes from those meetings.
3. Requested UGM coordinate community litter patrols to offset any impact from their clients:
No litter patrols were organized by UGM staff. The patrols with shelter residents were coordinated and led by local residents.
UGM has encouraged shelter residents to participation in weekly community led litter patrols by rewarding residents with bus tickets and $5 gift cards ( purchased and donated by local businesses. )
4. Requested UGM disperse Shelter contact information to local businesses (first request - December 2011)
No dispersal of contact info as of 2/11/12
5. Requested UGM create a newsletter to inform community of shelter rules, news, etc. (first request December 2011)
No newsletter as of 2/11/12