Something unprecedented and special happened in our community this spring. Winter shelters, which usually close on March 31, were extended, first through April 15, and then all the way through June 15th. While we are all basking in the sunshine at the moment, it’s worth remembering how unpredictable our northwest weather is. In the last few weeks we have had cold rain, wind, and temperatures near freezing. The weekend before shelters were scheduled to close on April 15, a hail storm in Seattle highlighted the urgent need for year-round shelter in our city.
Winter shelter was extended at three locations in Seattle: King County Administration Building (100 men), Seattle City Hall (75 men & women), and at the YWCA’s Angeline’s Center (40 women). There are many people and organizations who collaborated to accomplish this broadening of shelter. Thanks to strong collaboration, persistence, leadership and effective advocacy, 215 men and women will not be left to fend for themselves through rain, hail, cold and darkness. Instead, they will be inside: safe, dry and warm.
Today we hand delivered thank you cards signed by Coalition members to the leadership in Seattle and King County who helped make winter shelter a reality in our community: Seattle City Council; King County Council; Executive Constantine; Mayor McGinn; Director of King County Community & Human Services Department, Ms. Jackie MacLean; Director of Seattle Human Services Department, Ms. Dannette Smith. Please also send your own note of thanks to any and all people listed above – without their leadership, we would not have been able to extend winter shelter.