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Volunteers prepare new Seattle apartments for the homeless

Volunteers put personal touches on new Seattle apartments for the homeless – dishes, towels, bedding – everything that makes a place home.

SEATTLE — Volunteers came together in North Seattle to prepare new apartments for the homeless Saturday.

Downtown Emergency Service Center’s new building in Licton Springs, Clement Place, includes 100 units for people experiencing homelessness with increased access to services.

They’re expected to start moving in this week, but first, volunteers put personal touches on the apartments – dishes, towels, bedding – everything that makes a place home.

“We want the wow factor, for it to be amazing to come into a new place, ready to go,” said volunteer Kelli Arbei, there with a group from Bank of America.

Bank of America was responsible for furnishing 20 apartments on the sixth floor. The company also donated $200,000 to DESC in grants, and leadership training for executives.

Seattle Market President Kerri Schroeder reflected on the difference this would make.

“These are individuals who have been living in shelters and on the streets, that will finally come in and have a home of their own,” Schroeder said. “So we’re getting all the apartments set up and ready to welcome them.”

“For the 100 people that will make this home, it’s massively life-changing,” said Daniel Malone, DESC executive director. “It’s going to be amazing.”

“There’s nothing more important about what we do than this, providing homes for people to make a massive change in where their lives have been going,” he said. “We’ve been fortunate enough to do this 12 times before, and we intend to keep doing it until the need isn’t there anymore.”

Arbei hopes the furnishings in the space make people feel welcome.

“I hope they feel at home. That’s important,” she said.

All 100 apartments in the building have been adopted by sponsors – but DESC says 500-plus new clients will move into apartments this year. To sponsor one of those, contact donations@DESC.org.