Eastside shelter proposal attracts neighborhood concern

A proposal to build a permanent shelter on the Eastside has support from city and county leaders. However, those that live nearby are starting to raise concerns.

BELLEVUE, Wash. -- Neighbors around a proposed 100-bed homeless men's shelter near the Eastgate Park and Ride are raising concerns about the plans, wondering if a better location or program could have been considered.

City officials selected the location along SE Eastgate Way in August as its preferred place for the Eastside Men's Shelter.  The project has support from city and county officials, and would be operated by Congregations for the Homeless.

It would be Bellevue's first permanent homeless men's shelter.

"It's supposed to be a proposed site," said Tzachi Litov, "We heard about this last week."

Litov, who has previously served on boards for organizations supporting homeless assistance and volunteers with his family, lives across Interstate 90 from the shelter site.

I don't think anybody wants what is in Pioneer Square...to be in their neighborhood," he continued, "What they're proposing is going to become a magnet for the homeless."

The shelter would provide 100-beds, low-income housing and access to desperately needed social services. 

"It's not a long distance from housing, but it's farther away that anything we've found," said Steve Roberts from Congregations for the Homeless during an interview last week.

"There's hope around the corner," added CFH Executive Director David Bowling last week, "(This space) will be for fifty years to come."

Bellevue and CFH held a meeting last Thursday with community members to gather input on the proposal.  Ideally, the shelter would open in 2019 and, potentially, cost $23 million.

Copyright 2016 KING


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