Neighbors feel they have been left out of talk regarding new homeless encampment

Neighbors feel they have been left out of talk regarding new homeless encampment (PHOTO: KOMO News)

LOWER QUEEN ANNE — Things got heated as neighbors got to sound off about a new homeless shelter coming to Lower Queen Anne.

The shelter is set to open on parking lot space along the 600 block of Elliott Avenue in August.

Neighbors, who've felt like they've been in the dark about the project, had outbursts of anger during a question and answer session Tuesday night.

When finally given the chance to ask questions, concerned neighbors vented their frustration.

Many said they've had no say about the modular homeless shelter coming to their neighborhood which will allow people to do drugs and alcohol.

"I'm opposed to the shelter because I've had experience picking up human feces, looking into someone's drug glazed eyes while they’re banging on the door to get into my building and arousing people that I thought were dead,” said Thomas Shea who lives across the street from the site of the new shelter.

“My hope is that is that it will alleviate some to the homeless problem we are currently facing,” said concerned neighbor Maria Johansson. “It may actually increase our homeless population in the area.”

The dorm style shelter will have 72 spots for singles, couples and pets.

The total price tag is $4.5 million — paid for by King County tax payers.

The county says the shelter is needed and part of a push to provide a roof over people who don't have one.

Catholic Community Services, which runs other shelters, will also run the Queen Anne location.

"When you offer people compassion, and you get to know folks and you bring them indoors and give them hope, you see that folks aren't scary and you can engage with folks,” said Dan Wise with Catholic Community Services. “That is better for the whole neighborhood."

Unlike the City of Seattle funded enhanced shelters, people won't need a referral to get into the Elliott Shelter. It will be first come, first serve while people wait for housing to open up and they will be allowed to stay at the shelter indefinitely.

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