And according to the KOMO story the coming shelter is a surprise to some in the Lake City community —even after previous shelter plans that surprised the community prompted vows of more transparency with future shelter plans. People contacted for the story learned of the plan from the KOMO reporter.
The plan, according to the KOMO report, is part of a request by the Lake City Task Force on Homelessness to bring the rotating shelter to three area churches, beginning on Monday, January 7th.
The schedule for the shelter is below:
From the KOMO story:
- Jan 7 – Jan 27, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 14514 20th Avenue Northeast, Shoreline
- Jan 28 – Feb 17, Seattle Mennonite Church, 3120 NE 125th St., Seattle
- Feb 17 – Mar 15, Lake City Baptist Church, 2441 Northeast 125th Street, Seattle
According to [Paul] LaRose [of Union Gospel Mission], shelter organizers took concerns made by neighbors and business owners last year and came up with a different way to run the temporary shelter this time around.
"We are only offering an overnight shelter, from 7:00p.m. to 7:00a.m., primarily for people of Lake City. Last year that's what we tried to do but people were being referred by hospitals, like Harborview, and clinics when they were released. Someone would send them to Lake City, or the eastside Bellevue shelter, this year we don't expect it to be like that," said LaRose.
Mike Duke, owner of the Grocery Outlet in Lake City, says he understands people need help, and initially he allowed those staying at the shelter last year to use his store’s restroom. But he says his business ended up losing so much inventory they were forced to put locks on the bathroom doors.
"We had a terrible problem with panhandlers in the parking lot being really aggressive. Shoplifting was our biggest problem. We lost $28,000 in inventory during the quarter the shelter was open which was way over our normal amount and as soon as it shut down our loses went back to normal levels," said Duke.
You can read the entire KOMO report here.