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Monday, August 1, 2011

King County's Largest Shelter Provider Will Close Next Week Without Help

Posted by on Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Last week, homeless shelters throughout King County received devastating news: The federal government had cut roughly $1.5 million in funds dedicated to emergency food and shelter programs in the county. The sudden cut hit SHARE/WHEEL, King County's largest indoor shelter provider, especially hard. The non-profit announced today that it will be forced to close its 15 indoor shelters next week without an emergency donation of $44,000 dollars.

"A week from now we’ll be out of bus tickets—that’s our biggest budget expenditure," explained a SHARE/WHEEL employee who asked to remain anonymous because they weren't authorized to speak on the matter. "Without tickets, people can’t get to and from our shelters. That means we shut down."

The closures would affect over 500 homeless people in King County who rely on the indoor shelters and two outdoor tent cities that SHARE/WHEEL operates. Apparently, the organization is lobbying the city of Seattle and United Way of King County for emergency funds. Neither group has yet returned calls for comment.


Comments (35) RSS

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Cui Bono 1
Thanks KC Metro for getting rid of the monthly Puget Pass so now our most vulnerable have to scramble for bus tickets just to have a roof over their head for the night.
Posted by Cui Bono on August 1, 2011 at 5:15 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 2
didn't they ask for this same emergency funding a couple months ago?
Posted by Max Solomon on August 1, 2011 at 5:25 PM · Report this
Hooray! No more drunken and drug crazed hobos filling up the 358. Riding the bus is about to get much better!
Posted by That Smell on August 1, 2011 at 5:25 PM · Report this
Last of the Time Lords 4
Wow!! Bush/Obama America really IS the greatest nation on Earth!!!

Posted by Last of the Time Lords on August 1, 2011 at 5:32 PM · Report this
@2, SHARE/WHEEL asks for "emergency" funding at regular intervals - it's always a "crisis" for them, usually because they're working to shake down city, county or state government for more resources. Cienna, you may want to dig into "leads" from them a bit harder before posting something like this. They love to use PR to jump to the head of line before other non-profit shelter providers who look after their own finances closely and put in place long-term plans to sustain their services (as opposed to SHARE/WHEEL, which is somehow living paycheck-to-paycheck). In particular, I would probe harder on the statement, "Without tickets, people can’t get to and from our shelters. That means we shut down."
Posted by Trey21 on August 1, 2011 at 5:42 PM · Report this
With so many compassionate people in Seattle wouldn't the vulnerable community get lots of support?
Posted by Bum-vocate on August 1, 2011 at 5:45 PM · Report this
I just hope that any Tea Baggers out there who happen to be smart enough to read and/or operate a computer and navigate facebook are paying attention. When they suddenly notice so many more people sleeping in doorways and shitting in alleys they'll know why.
Posted by Jeffelopez on August 1, 2011 at 5:56 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 8

I just rode my bike past a sign that said 3 bedroom house in Maple Valley...$180,000

If you are homeless (like I am technically, since I have been living in an apartment complex that caters to Section 8s for the last 11 years) then you shouldn't live in Seattle or anywhere in Western Washington...the most expensive metro area (per square foot) of almost anywhere in the US.

You should move to an area that offers low cost housing which can easily be afforded by a minimum wage job or by the equivalent amount of assistance.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on August 1, 2011 at 6:09 PM · Report this
More bums in the streets? Maybe if you Professional pigeon feeders stop throwing seed out for them they' d flap the fuck back from whence they came and shit all over some other city of bleeding hearts.
Posted by Bum-vocate on August 1, 2011 at 6:20 PM · Report this
SamClemens 10
But we've got billions (or the State says we do, anyway) for a useless tunnel!
Posted by SamClemens on August 1, 2011 at 6:32 PM · Report this
"move to an area that offers low cost housing which can easily be afforded by a minimum wage job or by the equivalent amount of assistance."

Will they have malt liquor?
Posted by Bum-vocate on August 1, 2011 at 6:45 PM · Report this
"But we've got billions (or the State says we do, anyway) for a useless tunnel!"

We? I suggest you read the state constitution. Unless you think gas tax, port tax and toll money should be given to the fuckups at Share/WHEEL.
Posted by Bum-vocate on August 1, 2011 at 7:05 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 13

Cisco in cooler bottles.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on August 1, 2011 at 7:27 PM · Report this
#7 The biggest problem with your idea is that in smaller communities there are often far fewer addiction and mental health services, as well as little-to-no emergency shelters. The assistance most homeless people receive is too little for even modest lodgings in a small town. SHARE/WHEEL is the most efficient shelter program in the state, if not the country. Without them the city is going to be in serious trouble.
Posted by Righteous_206 on August 1, 2011 at 8:23 PM · Report this
Bailo, there's not much point replying to your silly comments, but I will anyway, in case someone who just fell off a turnip truck believes you.

A fulltime minimum wage job means $1,360 a month gross. I doubt if someone would be allowed to buy a house who makes that income. Any house. Nor could you likely rent a house. You'd be lucky to rent a studio apartment and still buy food, etc.

SHARE indeed depends on bus tickets to be able to operate its shelters, because they assure the surrounding neighborhoods that they won't have people walking through the neighborhoods to the shelters, AND because some people who stay in the shelters work and it's pretty hard to get to the shelter from your workplace when you can't take a bus and don't have a car.

And no, I don't work for SHARE, nor am I homeless.
Posted by sarah68 on August 1, 2011 at 9:42 PM · Report this
"Nor could you likely rent a house"

Wow, how did I manage it then for 4 years working minimum wage jobs? Oh that's right, room mates, cheap housing not in a city center and not getting shit faced every night.
Posted by Bum-vocate on August 1, 2011 at 9:59 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 17

Washington state minimum wage is $8.67/hour. A full-time minimum wage worker would earn about $1,500 gross. A two-person household would find it difficult, but not necessarily impossible, to afford to buy with those wages.
Posted by keshmeshi on August 1, 2011 at 11:09 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 18
But will the wealthy be OK? After all, that's what really matters. Think about it: if they actually had to do something to take care of themselves, it would be a carnage.

(have I mentioned that the rich should be taxed for being alive?)
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on August 1, 2011 at 11:09 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 19

Fine. Then move SHARE/WHEEL to a really low cost exurb, buy up a development of low cost houses and then they can walk to their treatment until they're ready to leave and go out on their own.

What's the point of having them ride buses and LINK all night long, sleep on the street and then go to a "health clinic" in a city where they can't afford to be part of society?!

I think that as much as these organizations do good, they are also in part driven to preserve their own jobs for administrators who want to live in Seattle rather than relocating to where the dollars can be spent most effectively.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on August 1, 2011 at 11:28 PM · Report this
levide 20
@ 17

Buy what? Your line of bullshit?
Posted by levide on August 1, 2011 at 11:58 PM · Report this
@19 - there aren't a whole hell of a lot of jobs out there in the 'low cost exurb'. Your line of reasoning makes no sense. You understand that living in the 'exurb' requires a car, right? Especially if you want to do more than one thing a day?
Posted by jt on August 2, 2011 at 2:46 AM · Report this
@19 for the impressive Win. Not sure Bailo has every won the comments section, but now he has. He is spot on accurate (along with 17), in the REAL root cause of the issue. Get the fuck out of Seattle, and move the treatment centers, housing etc, down to Burien/SoDo. Keep all the housing/treatment/commuting limited to that area of town, and keep the fucking bums out of the downtown areas. They only take up space in society on the busses, and on the streets, and make Seattle look like a low class shithole. Imagine all the extra room on the increasingly more crowded busses.

If they truly want assistance SoDo/Burien is the answer. And yes it has jobs they can actually perform down there too. Call it the new "rehab district", but get them the fuck out of downtown.

Enough is enough.
Posted by Common Sense in pretty uncommon on August 2, 2011 at 5:15 AM · Report this
relax, Cienna-
this is Seattle;
SecularHumanist Nirvanna!
our community is just oozing with big hearted Liberals eager to help their fellow man.
Did you know that humanists Liberals donate WAY MORE of their cash and time to helping the needy?
It's TRUE!!
in fact we're shocked there are even enough homeless to fill a shelter in Seattle.....
Posted by SecularHumanistLiberalism is The Answer on August 2, 2011 at 6:00 AM · Report this
In fact,
our local congregation of the
Hipster Church of the New York Times Sunday Edition
is organizing a raffle sale to raise cash to buy those bus passes.....
Posted by LoveThyNeighbor on August 2, 2011 at 6:02 AM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 25
Religion is redundant, my dear troll. Aside from the idiot fringe, people are starting to realize that. That's why the clergy are getting so hysterical. After all, there's no sweat like flop sweat, and when you've got no one in the pews but low-income morons and military retirees, it's hard to keep up that lifestyle Jesus supposedly wants for you.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on August 2, 2011 at 7:43 AM · Report this
actually religious fervor is a hallmark of a vital society-
a place where people are striving, passionate, questioning, exploring, pushing;
where they give a shit.
People who care enough to educate their own kids if the public schools don't meet their needs, who start businesses, who involve themselves in government if it isn't meeting their needs.
The kind of people who founded this nation and made it great.

of course, religion IS redundant in many places-
Europe, among white American Liberals;
folks who no longer are striving to achieve but are intent on carving themselves out a secure guaranteed piece of the public pie- overpaid government or union jobs and government health care and pensions; adamant in their insistence that their children (if they have any....) be saddled with crushing debt to fund the social services THEY demand but are unwilling to pay for...

Overeducated underemployed folks with an inflated sense of their own worth and cleverness, peering smugly down their noses at the unwashed teeming believing masses;
folks who are parasites sucking the vitality out of a nation built by others.

Posted by my aren't we clever on August 2, 2011 at 8:10 AM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 27
Oh yes, the religious are the only people who do anything. That old yarn. Perfect for the sort who take guidance from a 2000 year old collection of fairy tales.

Your self-righteousness is a drag. The real drains on society are the churches who pay no taxes and the clergy, who exist to put on a weekly show where they talk down to people. Talk about your welfare queens, they pretty much set the standard.

But I really think people are starting to get it. That's one of the reasons why Catholic churches are closing at a record pace (along with the fact that young people are too smart to get caught up in that celibacy nonsense, so there's not enough priests and nuns to go around) and Baptist churches keep taking the word "Baptist" out of their titles.

But by all means keep singing your little tune and hitting your tambourine. It's quaint, and it keeps you occupied.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on August 2, 2011 at 8:32 AM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 28
Three wars are being fought, the rich are getting richer and paying lower taxes than the support staff in their corporate offices, the tattered "social safety net" is being torn apart more, and some Americans STILL vote for politicians that tell them they will stop the Homos from getting married, the women from having an abortion, and taking away all those nasty environmental "job killing" regulations; instead of funding the weak and elderly, creating jobs to replant the former forests, clean the rivers, and build America up.

Blame the citizens that vote in elected officials that promise a "Moral" America, and yet are turning it into a debtor nation.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on August 2, 2011 at 8:54 AM · Report this

by all means tax the churches.
it will weed the phonies out in a hurry.
all the heathens who love the trappings of religion,
who sprinkle a few scriptures in with their own philosophy and call it 'religion',
who find endorsement of homosexuality in scripture-
tax their asses, see how long they stick around.
the truly religious, on the other hand, who have endured prison and fire in the past for the sake of belief, will not be detered by the IRS.

but while we are at it by all means we simply MUST tax the 50% of Americans who pay ZERO federal Income Tax, don't you think Cat?
speaking of 'fairness' and 'shared burdens' and 'drains on society' and all that.....

(ps- Cat, you make the same mistake Danny does, confusing Catholisism with 'religion'.
you weren't raised Catholic, were you?
oh, we're sorry......)
Posted by FaithofourFathers on August 2, 2011 at 9:24 AM · Report this
keshmeshi 30

Look into Homesight and FHA. You're welcome.
Posted by keshmeshi on August 2, 2011 at 9:25 AM · Report this
You should know that the SHARE staff is really messed up and manipulates its residents. You should check into the criminal history of the staffers. I know for a fact that one of the head staffers was in jail less than a year before starting work for SHARE. And that they have a phony board of directors that has no real power. Almost all of the residents already have bus tickets or some kind of transfer scheme going on and those who don't can get tickets from other residents. It's a scam by the staff. I encourage you to do the research. These people are being manipulated big time by the cult-like program and nobody is doing anything about it.
Posted by html on August 2, 2011 at 10:02 AM · Report this
I'd much rather see the money go to help with the transit system budget woes in general instead of being wasted on a handful of hobos that need a lift to meet with their drug dealers.
Posted by That Smell on August 2, 2011 at 11:22 AM · Report this
Voltairine 33
Uh, basic math means a minimum wage worker working full time is making $1387.20 gross monthly. 40 hours a week, four weeks in a month. For a $180,000 mortgage with no down payment,at 5% interest, the payments are going to be $1159 a month. This is assuming a bank will actually lend to someone with a minimum wage job, no savings, and likely poor credit, which is laughable. If you have dual earners, over 40% of their income is going to the mortgage, and the standard cut-off is 30%.

Don't make up ridiculous fictions where lazy-ass homeless people could be living in three-bedroom homes in the exurbs if they'd just work a minimum wage job. Stick to making claims that aren't so easily disproven.
Posted by Voltairine on August 2, 2011 at 4:27 PM · Report this
A few facts here, but don't let them distract anyone from ranting:

Share/Wheel has no administrators. They have several organizers who make little more than minimum wage.

The Share shelters that will have to be closed if no bus money is found are located in religious congregations. The religious community is one of the biggest providers of help to poor and homeless people in this county. They are providing help that most of you don't want to be taxed for. They are providing help that you would need if you lost your job and your family couldn't support you.

People in Share shelters don't sleep on the street. They sleep in the shelters (that's, you know, the idea of HAVING those shelters). But they will be on the street without the shelters.

And for those who are ranting without having read the article (quite common), a number of other organizations are having money yanked away from them also, because the federal FEMA has decided that King County doesn't have a high enough rate of unemployment to deserve that money. (One of those organizations provides food to poor children; do you rant about those poor kid bums?) That money was counted on by those organizations (including Share) to continue their services. They didn't know it wasn't going to come until they were notified last Friday.

But I'm sure none of you will ever be anything but securely middle-class, with houses in Kent or Bellevue or Seattle, and decent jobs. Good luck. This recession hasn't ended yet.
Posted by sarah68 on August 2, 2011 at 9:18 PM · Report this
Can we get some perspective? I'm confused on a couple of issues in this post.

1) Do you have some statistics on how SHARE/WHEEL is the biggest shelter provider in King County? There are so many HUGE providers in Seattle (DESC, Compass, Union Gospel Mission--just to name a few) and SHARE/WHEEL shelters don't seem to come close to the numbers these shelters serve. UWKC and/or SKCCH must have data on numbers of people served--how many people does SHARE/WHEEL help shelter? What kinds of outcomes do they report--how many people leave the shelters for more permanent housing?

2) I agree that access to transportation is a huge issue for everyone, but I'm just not seeing how bus tickets are the #1 make or break issue for any shelter. In all the years SHARE has used bus ticket shortages to get PR, have they helped the people who depend on their services sign up for other forms of transportation assistance? It's challenging, but not impossible for many very low income/homeless people (especially those with disabilities) to get bus tickets from medical providers and/or to get free or reduced fare permits.
Posted by MJ on August 5, 2011 at 11:16 PM · Report this

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