SHARE reopens 13 homeless shelters in Seattle

13 shelters part of the Seattle housing and resource effort, known as SHARE, are re-opening this week after five long months.

Monday was moving day for many in Seattle's homeless community. About 250 people moved off the street and into shelters that are back open for the first time in months.

The shelters operated by the Seattle Housing and Resource Effort, known as SHARE, were shut down five months ago, amidst a loss of funding and a growing deficit.

At the time, SHARE organizers said they were $75,000 in debt.

This week, King County agreed to restore funding to the shelters.  But in return, the group of homeless people who've spent the last few months staging a protest of sorts, sleeping and camping outside the King County Building, had to agree to move.

On Monday afternoon, the campers packed up and left the King County Building, as promised.

By Monday evening, many had moved their belongings to one of thirteen shelters opening up throughout the city.

Gift of Grace Lutheran Church in Wallingford plays host to one of them.  The shelter there can hold up to sixteen people.  It opens up at six p.m. each night.  Guests put mats on the floor and are required to clean up after themselves and leave in the morning.

"Our group just sighed," said Mark Medina, upon arriving at the shelter.  "We all just simultaneously let out a sigh of relief, because it's like we're somewhere.  And it's a lot better than grouping up and being outside.  It's better than sleeping on the ground."

King County has agreed to fund SHARE's shelters to the tune of about $50,000.  This time around, the money will be given to Catholic Community Services, which will then dispense the money to SHARE as needed.

"I'm personally very glad to see this," said SHARE board member Clint Crowder.  "It's been a long five months, but it's been worth it."

Copyright 2016 KING


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