New homeless shelter opens in Queen Anne

A new homeless shelter for elderly and disabled men is opening in Seattle in time for the holidays.

SEATTLE -- A new homeless shelter is opening its doors in Seattle as temperatures dip ahead of the winter months.

Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) will run the shelter, located within a former City Light building on Roy Street in Queen Anne.

Executive Director Daniel Malone says the male-only shelter will house up to 100 individuals when the facility is fully operational. Priority will be given to senior citizens and disabled individuals, according to DESC.

Despite the additional beds and two new city run encampments, thousands of homeless remain on the streets, according to staff with DESC.

"We're very worried about all those people who are still going to be outside, despite new shelters opening up," said Malone.

The most recent "one night count" across King County revealed more than 3,770 living on the streets and more than 6,000 in shelters or transitional housing, according to the report.

"I think that number has gone up over the course of this year judging by the number of tents you continue to see going up," said Malone.

Mayor Ed Murray and County Executive Dow Constantine have declared "a state of emergency" over homelessness. The mayor visited the new Seattle shelter on Wednesday and called for more federal and state support.

"As cities increase their funding, we continue to see a decline in federal and state support, and cities alone cannot answer a national crisis," Mayor Murray said.

"The only way we're going to end this is by getting people into stabilized housing," Murray continued.

The mayor praised Seattle City Council's recently passed 2016 budget, which included additional emergency funding to address homelessness. The mayor initially requested $5 million in emergency funding; the council approved an additional $2.3 million.


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