A new eastside shelter for families and women is available for a virtual tour as it celebrates its grand opening, Wednesday, Aug. 19.
The Kirkland Place for Families and Women has been in the works within the city since 2012 as it wanted to provide permanent 24/7 emergency shelters, replacing temporary weather shelters.
“The opening of Kirkland Place for Families and Women will enable Eastside families and women who are struggling with homelessness to live in a safe, nurturing place while they search for housing and connect with the community resources which can help stabilize their lives and end their homelessness,” Bill Hallerman of Catholic Community Services stated in a press release. “Instead of traveling each day from program to program, the 24/7 shelter will provide a consistent anchor, support and integrated services for its residents in a facility located in their home on the eastside.”
The grand opening, which can be viewed below, was hosted by the city, New Bethlehem Place, The Sophia Way and Salt House. It includes:
• A virtual tour of the shelter
• Blessing of the new space by Pastor Sara Wolbrecht, Father Kurt Nagel, Father Gary Zender and Pastor Lisa Horst Clark
• Statements from Kirkland Mayor, Penny Sweet and King County Council Chair, Claudia Balducci
• Messages of gratitude by staff of New Bethlehem Place and The Sophia Way
“This has been a long-awaited day and a much-needed safety net for women without homes. We are eternally grateful for the support of the state, county and cities, foundations, corporations and individuals that made this a reality. Knowing that we can provide around-the-clock shelter, keeping women safe and healthy is truly a gift,”Alisa Chatinsky, Executive Director of The Sophia Way, stated.
The shelter will be open seven days a week, 24 hours a day to provide a warm and safe place to rest, heal, and regroup. It will offer singular cubicle beds for adult women in a communal space and private spaces for families.
Housing and supportive case management services will also be available to keep guests safe and supported as they work to rebuild their lives and re-establish their housing.
Funding for shelter construction and operations came from a variety of sources including the city, King County, Washington State Housing Trust, ARCH, East King County CDBG Cities, and private donors from the community.
“This project would not have been possible without significant support from a multitude of public and private partners,” Mayor Penny Sweet added in the press release. “However, we must remind ourselves that our work is not done yet. We need to make sure that ongoing support is provided to ensure that robust services are available 24/7 to ensure that the guests at this facility have the safety and security they need to move forward on the pathway to housing and healing.”