DESC North Aurora Supportive Emergency Housing
We held a virtual informational meeting on Sept. 21 for the new DESC North Aurora Supportive Emergency Housing project. Learn more here.
DESC will operate a new supportive emergency housing program with robust supportive services in the former Holiday Inn Express & Suites North Seattle, which King County bought in July 2021, under the Health Through Housing program.
The facilities located at 14115 Aurora Ave N. is known for now as DESC North Aurora Supportive Emergency Housing. Beginning in autumn 2021, this new model will be a better alternative to the conventional model of crowded, congregate emergency shelter.
Eligible guests will be single, highly vulnerable, disabled adults who are experiencing chronic homelessness.
North Aurora Supportive Emergency Housing will partially replace the temporary arrangements we have had in Renton during the pandemic. It is a priority for both the county and for DESC to retain the bed capacity we have had there since spring 2020.
While it is emergency housing, this will not be a walkup shelter, nor will it offer walkup services. Rooms will be available only through referral, for quick access when a person has no housing, where they can be safe and comfortable while they prepare for their next steps.
Referrals will come from local homeless service providers, first responders, hospitals and the surrounding community.
The time that a guest may stay in this housing is not limited, but it is not intended to be a permanent home. It will offer basic amenities and safe, private, dignified spaces for people to temporarily live while they search for or wait to be placed in permanent housing.
The facility will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and DESC will provide robust supportive services. Additionally, residents will abide by DESC’s good neighbor agreement.
In the time since spring 2020 we have learned that hotel rooms work better for our guests than congregate shelter. DESC saw many advantages to private rooms as we operated the Renton hotel shelter during the pandemic. The operation has been on the whole very positive, according to a University of Washington study, “Impact of Hotels as Non-Congregate Emergency Shelters,” described here by UW News, and in Huff Post’s “Put Homeless People in Hotels.”
Our clients in the Renton hotel shelter have shown us that when people have their own private space with a locking door, a bed and bathroom, they are better able to stabilize and feel like they can take advantage of supportive and recovery services.