Bellevue City Council votes to move forward with plans to build permanent homeless shelter

The Bellevue City Council voted 4-3 Monday night, April 17, 2017, to move forward with plans to build a permanent homeless shelter for men in Eastgate, near the Eastgate Transit Center. (Photo: Artist drawing provided by city of Bellevue)

BELLEVUE, Wash. --The Bellevue City Council voted Monday night to move forward with plans to build a permanent homeless shelter for men in Eastgate. The vote was 4-3.

The Council voted to keep the ball rolling with plans to build the project near the Eastgate Park and Ride. But, it will also spend the next 45 days to explore other sites.

The council chambers inside Bellevue City Hall were packed Monday as five project supporters and five opponents got up to address the council about the proposed men's homeless shelter and housing project.

The meeting was the latest in months of debate.

The project would include a 100-bed homeless shelter for men, a day services center and 50-60 units of affordable housing. If approved as it stands now, the project would be built on several acres of county land near the Eastgate Park & Ride, not far from Bellevue College.

"They just need a place to have a cup of coffee, sit down, get food, rest, and I just feel that it’s our purpose, it’s our duty to help them," said supporter Cheryl Jurrus.

"We deserve to feel safe in our neighborhoods," said Lisa Leitner, who's against the proposed shelter's location. "But, I would want a real plan of what security would look like. Not just, 'we’ve got this covered and we’ll work this through over the next couple of years.'"

More than 2,800 people had signed an online petition as of Monday night to demand the city find a different spot for the project.

Many opponents said they aren't against the project itself. They just don't agree with where it would be built.

Leaders said the goal is to open the shelter sometime in late 2019 or early 2020.

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