The Inn at Queen Anne used to be a hotel but it has been transformed in recent weeks into a homeless shelter, and recent data from the Seattle Police Department shows that violent crime has spiked in the area since the conversion happened.
King County bought the site, located on 1st Avenue, last May as part of the county's Health Through Housing initiative.
“It is time to work together to solve chronic homelessness," King County Executive Dow Constantine said at the time. "Purchasing existing buildings means we can get housing that much quicker."
Residents who live in the area said they support initiatives that help the homeless, but they also add that they now have concerns about the area's safety.
“Sometimes I’ve seen people hanging out outside (and) sometimes I see police vehicles," said Heather Pihl, who lives in the area. "I don’t walk by and watch. It’s just incidentally walking by. I go every couple of days but it’s my frequent path."
According to data from the Seattle police crime dashboard, overall violent crime in the Queen Anne area is down.
But there has been nearly double the reported incidents of violent crimes from May 2020 to May 2021, the same month the building was purchased by the county, on the block where the former inn is located.
Of the eight properties purchased by the county for its program to get chronic homeless people off the streets, only two of them are currently open.
The other location is at an old Holiday Inn Express on Aurora Avenue. The site, located near N. 145th Street, opened last October.
Kobe Manning, manager of Pawn Kings, which sits across the street from the North Seattle homeless shelter, was all for it when he heard the news about its opening.
“I was like, 'It’s going to be a good thing for the homeless,'” he said.
While he’s still in support of the program, he feels shelters should not be located near homes and businesses.
“I got to beef up and be on high alert because I don’t know what’s going on around here,” Manning said.
City and county officials did not immediately respond to questions from KOMO News about the residents' concerns.View This Story on Our Site