Press Releases

Eastside Homeless Shelter to Move Forward Following Council Actions

July 20, 2021

CONTACT: David Shurtleff, 206-954-2368

Eastside Homeless Shelter to Move Forward Following Council Actions

Local leaders are celebrating two major milestones towards meeting affordable housing and shelter needs in East King County, with the King County Council approving the sale of a piece of surplus county property in Bellevue and the Bellevue City Council approving additional funding for the men’s homeless shelter and permanent supportive housing that will be sited there.

The property, owned by King County’s Solid Waste Division and located on Eastgate Way in Bellevue, will be transformed into a campus that will include a permanent men’s homeless shelter, permanent supportive housing, and workforce housing. Led by King County Council Chair Claudia Balducci, who represents the neighborhood where the property is located and has been a longtime champion of the project, the King County Council unanimously approved the purchase and sale agreement for $18,885,000 on July 13th.

“When I was the mayor of Bellevue, I made a commitment with fellow mayors from Redmond and Kirkland to work together to provide a full suite of emergency shelter services for people experiencing homelessness on the Eastside,” said Council Chair Balducci. “After years of work with public and private partners and the community, we are finally making good on that commitment. This property sale will enable the first and only permanent men’s shelter on the Eastside, and it will go further, with the first permanent supportive housing constructed on the Eastside and affordable homes for hundreds of families. This project has become more than I could have dreamed thanks to the tenacity and dedication of Congregations for the Homeless and their partners, with critical support from local government.”

On July 19th, the Bellevue City Council approved $3.6 million for the shelter project and $400,000 for the permanent supportive housing project. This funding provides the final pieces of financing which leverages the funds already committed from the Department of Commerce, King County, and other Eastside cities, along with more than $130 million in private investments and loans, all of which allows for closing on the sale of the property and construction to begin.

“Finalizing the property sale and funding are major steps forward in making the Eastgate shelter and supportive housing campus a reality,” said Bellevue Mayor Lynne Robinson. “I want to thank King County for its partnership in this process. The physical buildings combined with supportive services are key to Bellevue’s success in addressing homelessness. The new permanent shelter is just one key piece of our ongoing work to support our community.”

The project was instigated by Congregations for the Homeless, a Bellevue nonprofit that has been serving men on the Eastside experiencing homelessness for nearly three decades, who will operate the shelter. Plymouth Housing, a non-profit developer and operator of supportive housing for homeless individuals, will operate the permanent supportive housing and Inland Group, a Spokane-based developer of affordable housing will build the workforce housing. The purchase and project are also being facilitated by Horizon Housing Alliance, a non-profit developer of affordable housing.

Congregations for the Homeless Executive Director David Bowling said “This campus has surpassed our initial expectations by becoming a cornerstone for ensuring affordable homes and safe shelter exists within our community. All the public and private parties came together toward a common vision, setting the stage for providing coordinated, efficient and effective housing and services.”

“The Eastgate Project is a major advancement to address homelessness and housing affordability in east King County,” said Paul Lambros, CEO of Plymouth Housing. “As one of the project partners, Plymouth Housing is grateful to the King County Council for its unanimous vote in support of the project as well as Bellevue City Council for approving critical funding to begin work on the project. The Eastgate Project is a true partnership between local, county, and state governments, the private sector, and nonprofit providers coming together to address homelessness and housing issues in our communities. The project will enable Plymouth to provide permanent supportive housing to chronically homeless individuals on the Eastside for decades to come.”

“The Eastgate campus will be a shining example of what we can accomplish when the private, nonprofit and public sectors do what they each do best,” said Darin Davidson, President of Inland Group. “It takes all of us working together to effectively and efficiently deliver the housing and services the region needs. I want to thank Councilmember Balducci, Executive Constantine, the City of Bellevue, and funders for their leadership.”

Construction of the three projects is expected to be completed in 2023 at a combined cost of about $186 million. The campus will include:

  • A 100-bed men’s enhanced shelter and services center (Congregations for the Homeless)
  • 92 permanent supportive homes for homeless individuals being referred from Eastside shelters (Plymouth Housing)
  • 360 homes for low-income wage earners. This part of the campus will also include a 10,000 square foot early learning center (Inland Group)
 

The approval of the sale of the property by the King County Council and the funding by the Bellevue City Council marks the culmination of over eight years of collaboration among non-profit groups and local and state governmental leaders to expand East King County services and permanent housing options for people experiencing homelessness, as well as preventing homelessness for individuals and families by expanding affordable housing options. Congregations for the Homeless has been engaged in community engagement, site selection, and planning since 2014. The four organizations together have spent more than 18 months on design and engineering work, fundraising, and City of Bellevue permitting processes. 

Preferred site for Bellevue permanent men’s homeless shelter announced

Bellevue – December 19, 2018

The search for a site to build a permanent shelter in Bellevue for homeless men took a significant step Wednesday, as Bellevue-based Congregations for the Homeless (CFH) announced it is pursuing part of a surplus property owned by King County located at 13620 SE Eastgate Way, Bellevue in one of the land use districts approved for shelters.

David Bowling, CFH Executive Director, said the organization conducted an extensive review of sites in Bellevue, based on feedback from the community and guidance from the Land Use Code Ordinance passed last July by the Bellevue City Council.

“CFH reviewed over a dozen sites,” Bowling said. “From that list, we evaluated seven of the sites against a robust set of 13 criteria to ensure a shelter that works for the wider community and effectively serves men experiencing homelessness.” The surplus King County property on Eastgate Way meets Bellevue’s zoning requirements, meets key criteria for addressing community safety concerns while also meeting the highest needs of men experiencing homelessness and can reasonably be developed within our three-year timeframe, Bowling said.

Bellevue leaders have been looking for a permanent year-round shelter site to serve men experiencing homelessness since 2014. This year, the Bellevue City Council adopted regulations to guide permitting of Homeless Services Uses. They include holding a community meeting, signing a “Good Neighbor Agreement” with the city defining safeguards, and establishing an advisory committee.

“Ultimately,” said Bowling, “the challenge is to give confidence to both the city and community that this is an appropriate site we can have up and running by 2022. Time is a major factor. We hope our current winter program at Lincoln Center will be expanded to year-round services soon. Once that happens, we expect to only have three years to operate here under the emergency permitting process. Therefore, we have just three years to get a new permanent facility approved and built so we don’t close our doors to the men. Time is of the essence to serve men from Bellevue and the greater Eastside who are experiencing homelessness.”

For More Information:
Don Stark
(206) 953-3969

Links to media coverage:

Seattle Times: Bellevue’s permanent shelter for homeless men has proposed site after years of debate

KIRO TV: Permanent homeless shelter for men may be built in Bellevue

KING TV: Possible site for Bellevue men’s homeless shelter announced

Bellevue Patch: Eastgate Parcel Picked For Bellevue Men’s Shelter

Congregations for the Homeless, Inland Group and Horizon Housing Alliance Announce Milestone in Developing a Bellevue-Based Shelter in Conjunction with Affordable Housing

Bellevue — September 18, 2019

Congregations for the Homeless (CFH), the sole provider of overnight shelter for adult men in East King County, announced they have taken the next step in fulfilling the long-held shared goal of establishing a permanent year-round shelter for men experiencing homelessness. CFH recently reached agreement with King County on a purchase and sale agreement for the property located at 13620 SE Eastgate Way; a property located just north of I-90 and Factoria that CFH identified last December as their preferred location. This milestone was achieved thanks to Inland Group and Horizon Housing Alliance joining with CFH to bring forward a vision for the entire 9+ acre site.

Earlier this year, CFH identified the need to work with a master developer in order to secure a portion of the property for the shelter and day center. Recognizing the uniqueness of this opportunity, CFH, Inland Group and Horizon Housing Alliance are developing a master plan concept that furthers the City of Bellevue’s goal of safe, healthy and affordable places to live for people of all income levels.

Inland Group will lead the master development process for the entire site, while CFH will retain the responsibility of obtaining a land use permit for the 100-bed overnight shelter and day center on a small portion of the site. The City’s shelter permitting process includes working with Bellevue’s Good Neighbor Agreement Advisory Committee and publishing its safety and security plan, standard operating procedures and codes of conduct, all of which are intended to foster transparency and confidence from the surrounding community.

In addition to the property serving as the permanent location for CFH’s shelter and day center for men experiencing homelessness, Inland Group envisions 300+ rental units of workforce housing on a separate portion of the property. CFH, Inland Group, and Horizon Housing Alliance also are exploring the possibility of providing approximately 80 apartment homes for individuals leaving homelessness – people who are ready to live independently with wrap around services designed to help them maintain housing stability.

King County Executive Dow Constantine stated, “Today we stand in partnership with CFH, Inland and Horizon Housing Alliance in takinga significant step to make an Eastside shelter for men experiencing homelessness a reality. I applaud the addition of a significant number of new affordable housing units to the project. King County is proud to play a pivotal role, providing both land and financial support for a comprehensive homeless and affordable housing solution that will benefit our region for years to come.”

“Planning for the Eastside’s first homeless shelter for men began over 10 years ago, motivated by a tragic and unnecessary death in Bellevue. When I served as Mayor of Bellevue, I was proud to propose that we make it a priority to find a permanent home for our existing men’s shelter,” said King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci. “Now, as a County Councilmember, I continue to support CFH’s efforts to complete this work. This property sale will support not only a life-saving shelter, but also services and homes to help people move from homelessness to housing, and homes that will be affordable to working people and families in our increasingly expensive community. I thank and commend CFH, their partners, and Executive Constantine and his team for negotiating this important sale.”

‘This is a major milestone for CFH and King County,” said City of Bellevue Mayor John Chelminiak. “This moves the proposal closer to beginning the City permit process, a critical step to having the shelter built in a timely manner.”

“Inland Group is excited to partner with Congregations for the Homeless to advance this critical project, said Darin Davidson, President of Inland Group. “We have decades of experience in creating attractive, high-quality housing that is an asset to the community and working families. We own and manage the properties we develop and therefore understand the importance of building long-term relationships and working with communities from the very beginning of a project.”

David Bowling, CFH Executive Director, said, “After nearly five-years of planning, community engagement, and evaluation of potential sites on which to locate a permanent shelter, this is an exciting milestone in fulfilling our mission and meeting the City’s goal of creating a permanent space by 2022. We thank everyone involved in this process so far and look forward to engaging the community further now that we can turn our attention to the design details. Once completed, we believe our bold vision of a shelter and day center combined with affordable permanent home options will provide a range of affordable homes and life-saving community services that the City of Bellevue will be very proud of.”

CFH has operated the 100-bed emergency winter shelter in Bellevue since 2008, but it was only permitted to operate between November and April. “This year, thanks to a collaborative effort between the City and Bellevue’s business community, the overnight shelter was enabled to operate year-round,” said Kevin Wallace, President of Wallace Properties. “The permanent facility on Eastgate Way will enable that year-round operation to occur in a new building that provides the services needed to achieve Bellevue and CFH’s shared goal of making homelessness rare, brief and one-time.”

Completing this purchase and sale agreement was important because it allows CFH and Inland Group to begin submitting funding applications to advance efforts to build the shelter and affordable homes. Final agreement regarding the sale of the parcel is subject to approval by the King County Council.

CFH is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1993 to provide a warm, safe, and hospitable place for single men to sleep and be nourished with three healthy meals each day. Today, with phenomenal partnerships and support from King County’s Eastside community, CFH serves more than 2,000 people each year with shelter, permanent homes and life-saving services.

Founded in 1973, Inland Group specializes in the development and construction of high density residential and commercial projects from affordable family housing to independent living retirement communities. Over the last forty years, the company has evolved into an industry leader in the construction and development of multi-family housing.

Horizon Housing Alliance is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, public benefit corporation focused on the most efficient delivery of homes for those in need. Horizon was created in 1993 and has partnered on affordable and senior housing developments in Washington state and Nevada.

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Preferred site for Bellevue permanent men’s homeless shelter announced

Bellevue – December 19, 2018

The search for a site to build a permanent shelter in Bellevue for homeless men took a significant step Wednesday, as Bellevue-based Congregations for the Homeless (CFH) announced it is pursuing part of a surplus property owned by King County located at 13620 SE Eastgate Way, Bellevue in one of the land use districts approved for shelters.

David Bowling, CFH Executive Director, said the organization conducted an extensive review of sites in Bellevue, based on feedback from the community and guidance from the Land Use Code Ordinance passed last July by the Bellevue City Council.

“CFH reviewed over a dozen sites,” Bowling said. “From that list, we evaluated seven of the sites against a robust set of 13 criteria to ensure a shelter that works for the wider community and effectively serves men experiencing homelessness.” The surplus King County property on Eastgate Way meets Bellevue’s zoning requirements, meets key criteria for addressing community safety concerns while also meeting the highest needs of men experiencing homelessness and can reasonably be developed within our three-year timeframe, Bowling said.

Bellevue leaders have been looking for a permanent year-round shelter site to serve men experiencing homelessness since 2014. This year, the Bellevue City Council adopted regulations to guide permitting of Homeless Services Uses. They include holding a community meeting, signing a “Good Neighbor Agreement” with the city defining safeguards, and establishing an advisory committee.

“Ultimately,” said Bowling, “the challenge is to give confidence to both the city and community that this is an appropriate site we can have up and running by 2022. Time is a major factor. We hope our current winter program at Lincoln Center will be expanded to year-round services soon. Once that happens, we expect to only have three years to operate here under the emergency permitting process. Therefore, we have just three years to get a new permanent facility approved and built so we don’t close our doors to the men. Time is of the essence to serve men from Bellevue and the greater Eastside who are experiencing homelessness.”

For More Information:
Don Stark
(206) 953-3969

Links to media coverage:

Seattle Times: Bellevue’s permanent shelter for homeless men has proposed site after years of debate

KIRO TV: Permanent homeless shelter for men may be built in Bellevue

KING TV: Possible site for Bellevue men’s homeless shelter announced

Bellevue Patch: Eastgate Parcel Picked For Bellevue Men’s Shelter