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First-of-its-kind safe space for people living in cars, RVs coming to Interbay

The 35,000-square-foot space will serve up to 50 unhoused people and provide space for 10 tiny homes and 30 RVs.

SEATTLE — A first-of-its-kind space to help people who live in their vehicles is set to come to Seattle’s Interbay neighborhood. 

The Low-Income Housing Institute (LIHI) announced its plan to create an RV safe space just south of the Ballard Bridge.

The 35,000-square-foot vacant space near the corner of Bertona Street and 15th Avenue will mark a first for the city of Seattle. 

“The population has grown and there’s been no solution, so we think that this is the first that’s going to be significant,” said Sharon Lee, the Executive Director of LIHI.

This space will soon be the first safe space parking lot for RVs as part of LIHI's new “Salmon Bay Village.” This new space will serve up to 50 unhoused people and provide space for 10 tiny homes and 30 RVs. 

“A very large number of the unsheltered homeless people are living in cars and RVs, so that’s thousands of people,” said Lee.

Officials with LIHI said the space will prioritize the people living in RVs throughout the Ballard and Interbay neighborhoods. 

“It’s hard to keep track of counseling or services,” said Lee. “So, this will be a safe place that people can stay, park their RV and then receive services.”

There will be 24/7 staffing along with case manager offices, a community kitchen, hygiene facilities and a laundry room. LIHI officials said another reason this space is coming to life is because of help from a local sports team. 

“The owner is part owner of the storm and as you know they’re building their facility right down here and so they were willing to let us lease the land on favorable terms,” said Lee.

Lee hopes this space is just the beginning of getting to their goal of getting people out of their vehicles into permanent housing. “We need more of this and not just in this city but also in King County,” said Lee.

Lee said construction on the site will start next month and it will open in August.

If you’d like to offer feedback or learn more about this site, a community meeting will be held on May 25 at 6 p.m. at the Magnolia United Church of Christ.

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