New complex offers housing to homeless with disabilities

The Estelle will have medical and supportive services on site 24/7 to help people overcome significant health barriers that prevent them from escaping homelessness.

A complex opened in Seattle on Tuesday, giving brand new apartments to dozens of people with disabilities who are homeless.

The Estelle, a 91-unit complex in the 3500 block of Rainier Avenue South, will help people who are chronically homeless and have significant barriers that keep them on the street, such as mental illness and substance abuse. The project is run by DESC in partnership with Harborview Medical Center.

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“Supportive housing is a concept where principally it is housing,” said DESC Executive Director Daniel Malone. “They have leases and all the rights and responsibilities that a tenant normally would have in housing, but what's different about it is that there are different supportive services on site 24/7.”

The complex will offer extensive health services, including a Harborview nursing team that will be on site 24/7. About 15 units will be reserved for people leaving Harborview who have healthcare needs that aren’t served in typical residential care systems.

“A lot of times these folks don't have a lot of trust in the medical community so it's really important to have that medical care where they live so they're a lot more comfortable getting those services, which helps keep them out of the hospital. That's really key,” said Liz McNamara, assistant administrator in patient care services at Harborview.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and King County Executive Dow Constantine were on hand for the building's grand opening.