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Homeless shelter coming Thursday to Green Lake's Bethany Lutheran Church

What do you think? (32 Comments) July 13, 2010 at 11:39AM

An indoor homeless shelter is coming to Green Lake’s Bethany Lutheran Church (7400 Woodlawn Ave NE).

The church will provide night-time shelter to twenty homeless men.  The men are participants in SHARE (Seattle Housing and Resource Effort), King County’s largest shelter network.

The church and SHARE will be working together for a one-month trial period beginning on Thursday, July 15, 2010.

Bethany Lutheran Church has extended the following invitation to the Green Lake neighborhood:

Community members are invited to Bethany’s Fellowship Hall, down the steps from the Woodlawn Avenue office entrance, on Wednesday evening, July 14, at 7:00PM to meet members of the congregation and of the SHARE community to hear details of this trial program and offer questions and concerns.  Copies of SHARE’s shelter rules will be available.

This interim agreement has been reached following a ten-month period of inquiry, prayer, and discernment in our congregation and with neighborhood churches.  The SHARE organization has a successful two decade-long history in King County and works at more than fifteen locations to provide overnight shelter and referral services.  Lutheran congregations in the Phinney Ridge and Maple Leaf neighborhoods have offered this shelter arrangement for years, to the benefit and safety of congregation and surrounding neighborhoods.

SHARE participants arrive as a group via public bus at a set time each evening and leave as a group back to downtown Seattle in the early morning; they do not remain in the neighborhood.  Participants in the SHARE program are previously screened at a downtown location, are self-managed and committed to be sober and non-violent.  They will assist us in monitoring the church property at night and promptly report to 911 any illegal activity anywhere here or in the immediate neighborhood.

For directions or more information, call Bethany Lutheran Church at 206 523 4454 or the SHARE offices at 206 448 7889.

32 Responses to “Homeless shelter coming Thursday to Green Lake's Bethany Lutheran Church”

  1. 206Dad says:

    As the parent of a 3 year old boy I am obviously concerned about 20 homeless men moving in next door. The church is bordered on all sides by residential homes and it would seem that there are better locations that are not surrounded by young families and children's parks. Being near Seattle's most popular park, this neighborhood already bares more than it's fare share of the city's burden and now adding a homeless shelter to the mix will create a level of vigilant paranoia we should not have to endure in a residential neighborhood. I am sympathetic to their cause and appreciate the churches compassion however this is not the right location.

  2. Erica says:

    This is great to hear. SHARE is an amazing organization and I'm happy to know that more shelter beds will be made available to people experiencing homelessness in our community. Welcome to the 'hood!

  3. 206Dad Next Generation says:

    Does 206 Dad know that they just go there, almost immediately go to sleep, then wake up and bus back downtown? To quote the article, “they do not remain in the neighborhood.”

  4. Mecklenberg says:

    It would have been nice if the Church had sought input from immediate neighbors as part of their ten-month prayer & deliberation process. How exactly will 20 “self-monitored” men prevent other homeless from continuing to camp outside the Church during the night? Is there some sort of nightly patrol?

  5. Ben Kordash says:

    Hi there – I will be one of the people moving in to the new SHARE location at Bethany Luteran

    I just want everybody in the community to know that are 100% committed to being responsible, active residents of your neighborhood. If anybody has any questions or concerns about us moving in, please attend the meeting tonight at the church (7:00pm). Just a quick note – EVERYBODY staying at Bethany Lutheran must go through a screening process at the downtown SHARE office. We will come as a group and go directly to the church, so there will be absolutely zero loitering in and around the church/park. I look forward to meeting you all! contact me — > twitter.com/birdsandstuff ebkallday@gmail.com

  6. Ben Kordash says:

    Yes. Anybody loitering outside the church will be promptly asked to leave the area. If someone doesn't leave when asked nicely by our shelter coordinator, we will call the police and have them removed from the neighborhood.

  7. ShareLies says:

    Ben Kordash,

    The refused to screen for even high level sex offenders in Ballard, their screening process basically only proves that they are alive. I have no problem with the housing but share needs to seriously step up and do what they claim they do on intake.

  8. Guest says:

    I don't know if you've ever left your house, but our neighborhood has a lot more than 20 homeless people in it! The only difference is they won't be sleeping in a car

  9. Jules says:

    You might want to check out the THOUSANDS of posts about this on the Ballard blog. Our Redeemers Church put a Share Homeless shelter in the (now defunct) Calvary Lutheran Church, near Salmon Bay Park, right across the street from a daycare center. This happended despite the hue and cry from the neighborhood- mainly because Share would NOT screen for sex offenders. Guess what? Level 3 sex offenders found at the shelter. Taking care of the needs of the homeless above the needs of the residents/businesses/schools in Ballard seems to be the ONLY growth industry in Ballard these days. Just check out Market St. and Ballard Ave, if you want to know where these guys go during the day.

  10. BeMac says:

    Having lived quite close to the shelter in Ballard I can tell you that I never noticed a negative impact on the community. In fact as I recall there were ongoing 'sentries' walking the blocks around the shelter, but I could be wrong about that. The one issue I have with it is the one brought up by a previous poster; SHARE refused to screen for sex offenders and as noted one, (not many just one) was found to be living in the shelter and I find that irresponsible. With that exception, (and admittedly it is a BIG one), I have only positive things to say about the shelter. My former neighborhood is GreenLake right near the Bethany church. As as has been said there are way more then 20 homeless folks in the area. Homelessness is a harsh reality of our times. While I agree that SHARE and other organizations who provide this service should be screening for criminal acitivity among their clients, those clients once screened present a far less threat to the neighborhood than those who are drinking and sleeping in our nearby city parks at night.

  11. Fight for Green Lake says:

    The community meeting was nothing but a sham so that SHARE and Bethany could say that they had a meeting. The decision was made and the shelter opens Thursday night.

    This is a major issue for our neighborhood and the church is hiding behind their religious “principles” to conduct this horrible disservice to its neighbors.

    Don't stay quiet. Fight for our safety, fight for our property values, and fight for the way of life we enjoy in the great neighborhood.

  12. BeMac says:

    Having lived quite close to the shelter in Ballard I can tell you that I never noticed a negative impact on the community. In fact as I recall there were ongoing 'sentries' walking the blocks around the shelter, but I could be wrong about that. The one issue I have with it is the one brought up by a previous poster; SHARE refused to screen for sex offenders and as noted one, (not many just one) was found to be living in the shelter and I find that irresponsible. With that exception, (and admittedly it is a BIG one), I have only positive things to say about the shelter. My former neighborhood is GreenLake right near the Bethany church. As as has been said there are way more then 20 homeless folks in the area. Homelessness is a harsh reality of our times. While I agree that SHARE and other organizations who provide this service should be screening for criminal acitivity among their clients, those clients once screened present a far less threat to the neighborhood than those who are drinking and sleeping in our nearby city parks at night.

  13. Fight for Green Lake says:

    The community meeting was nothing but a sham so that SHARE and Bethany could say that they had a meeting. The decision was made and the shelter opens Thursday night.

    This is a major issue for our neighborhood and the church is hiding behind their religious “principles” to conduct this horrible disservice to its neighbors.

    Don't stay quiet. Fight for our safety, fight for our property values, and fight for the way of life we enjoy in the great neighborhood.

  14. Allison says:

    I agree with “Fight for Green Lake”. I understand that most of us are “one 1 paycheck away” from homelessness, as the saying goes. However, I am curious that at last nights meeting one of the SHARES group mentioned they had been homeless for over 9 years. When a women questioned this, she was told to leave the meeting. Nine years of homelessness would appear to be a life style choice, not someone who has experienced hard times and trying to better themselves. Why am I forced to condone someones life style choice? SHARE does ABSOLUTELY NO ( let me repeat that) NO, NONE, NADA background checks to receive shelter. These people could be sex offenders, wanted criminals, cronic vagrants, or mentally ill individuals. SHARE does NOTHING to help these people. Are we as a community really helping people by not requring that they are employable, in school, or seeking medical attention or are we just supporting a life style choice at our expense?

  15. working & responsible says:

    To Guest :

    We may have 20 homeless people in the community so is the answer to the situation to bring in 20 more unscreened homeless? How does this help?

  16. GET A JOB ! says:

    You stated that you are “screened”. This is a lie. You are self policed – not screened. You are not welcome. Get a job, become a responsible adult and pay taxes like the rest of us.