Homeless to Hopeful in King County

Apr 11, 2019 | by Ally Butler

King County is facing a homelessness crisis. But The Salvation Army is on the front lines, and we have upped our approach accordingly. As of April 2019, our shelter capacity stands at 938 beds—938 means of bringing a neighbor from homeless to hopeful.

We see this hope in a father in recovery, recently reunited with his children. In a veteran, moving into affordable housing after five years on the streets. In a mother and child, safe from the abuser who once tormented their home. With every person we serve at The Salvation Army, we provide hope.

Every guest at our robust shelter system receives immediate care and referrals. Because of our longstanding partnerships with the City of Seattle and King County, we are able to reach more neighbors than ever. We know that each of these neighbors has a different story to tell, so no two approaches are identical. And no one is ever turned away because of who they are. No matter what shape one’s journey takes, we stand by them at every step towards stability.

For many, the first step begins at one of our 475 beds of emergency shelter. These shelters are the first line of defense against the dangers of homelessness, the key that opens the door to resources our guests may never access otherwise. We often see passing meetings between guests and on-site case managers grow into navigation to permanent housing. Our newest location, the Day Center (4th & Jefferson) provides invaluable services including a medical clinic, showers, laundry services, and one-on-one meetings with housing navigators and local agencies. We now ensure that hope and help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We also operate long-term shelters that give clients stability as they overcome their specific barriers and attain permanent housing. These shelters address the complex needs of people experiencing domestic violence, human trafficking, and homelessness in conjunction with veteran status. Our long-term shelters are not new to Seattle, but it is important that we evolve our approach to best serve our changing landscape.

Now, in the public discourse surrounding homeless, one barrier has dominated the conversation: addiction. The Salvation Army understands that addiction is a deep, complex illness that requires long-term treatment of the whole person. That is why, for decades, we have offered free, six-month residential treatment at Seattle’s Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC). Here, we work with both men and women on attaining sustainable sobriety through comprehensive care of the mind, body, and spirit. Our clients can then reunite with families, begin careers, move into permanent housing, and truly begin a new phase of self-sufficiency. No one at the ARC is ever labeled a “hopeless addict.” Every beneficiary is a life wanting to change, wanting to unlock the door to their better future.

King County is facing a homeless crisis. But nobody must face this alone. The Salvation Army is here, reaching out a hand to lift others up to their potential. Through individualized and holistic case management, we are championing a fight for good. We are bringing others hope.

 

We wouldn't be able to provide over 100,000 nights of shelter each year without the generosity of our donors. Please, consider helping bring neighbors from Homeless to Hopeful by visiting our "Ways to Give" page.


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