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New men's shelter opens in Bellevue

The facility will feature counseling services, job assistance, healthy meals, hygiene facilities and more to help men transition to more stable situations.

BELLEVUE, Wash. — A new permanent men's shelter is opening in Bellevue. 

Congregations for Homeless (CFH) is marking its 30th anniversary with the opening of the new facility. 

CFH was founded in 1993, opening up a rotating shelter. In 2005, the nonprofit added case management. In 2006, CFH launched a housing program that gave 175 men the keys to their own homes. In 2008, CFH opened an emergency winter shelter and in 2013 started its outreach and mental health programs. 

The finishing touches are still being added to the new permanent shelter in the Eastgate neighborhood of Bellevue. However, that isn't stopping them from already accepting guests. 

The low-barrier shelter will have space for 100 individuals a night and allow people to find assistance in a dignified environment, according to the organization. 

CFH CEO Troy Christensen said the stigma surrounding homelessness can keep many men from seeking the assistance they need, which is represented by a mural featuring two faces painted on the front of the new shelter.

"The mural focuses on the fact that men are often not visible," Christensen said. "But also we think the mural represents a picture of hope and to see that, yes, there is a way out." 

The new men's shelter features a day center with amenities and services to empower guests to regain stability in their lives and transition to a more stable living situation when their time at the facility is over. Senior Manager of Housing for CFH Ryan Murk said support services, healthy meals, hygiene facilities, counseling services, job assistance and more provide vital resources that those struggling with homelessness often need. 

"We are a part of the process of restoring people for a better life," Murk said. "A better life they want for themselves." 

In addition to the new permanent men's shelter, CFH also manages 12 supporting houses and has a hotel voucher program among other services. The formal grand opening for the shelter is set for September, but CFH is already busy offering services around the clock. 

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