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Organizers report that SHARE homeless shelter has had 'no impact' on Green Lake neighborhood

What do you think? (14 Comments) September 9, 2010 at 4:59PM

A homeless shelter which houses twenty men at Bethany Lutheran Church (7400 Woodlawn Ave NE), has, according to representatives from the shelter and church, had no impact on the surrounding neighborhood.

The SHARE shelter has been in operation since July 15th of this year.  Many Green Lake residents expressed concerns when the shelter opened.

Last night (Wednesday, Sept 8, 2010), SHARE and church representatives spoke at the Green Lake Community Council meeting.

John Uusitalo, a member of the Church Council, reported that there had been “no problems” since the shelter opened.  He said that the church has made it clear to SHARE that “if there are any problems, they are out.”

“In the five or six days after the shelter opened,” Uusitalo said, “we received four calls from people asking when the shelter was opening.  They didn’t realize that it had already opened.  There has been no impact on the neighborhood.”

SHARE participant Andrew reported that three homeless people who had been camping out on the church’s porch prior to SHARE’s arrival were now gone, thanks to walk-throughs that SHARE participants do on the property each morning and night.

Another SHARE participant said that the Green Lake community has been very welcoming.  “The neighbors have been great,” he said.  “They’ve brought us peaches and sandwiches.”

In July, SHARE was in a budget crisis which threatened funding for bus tickets that SHARE participants use to travel between downtown and neighborhood shelters, including the Green Lake shelter.   However, funding has come through.  Uusitalo reported that the men will have bus tickets through the end of the year.

14 Responses to “Organizers report that SHARE homeless shelter has had 'no impact' on Green Lake neighborhood”

  1. Vivian says:

    After reading the 30 or so comments that were written after the July 15th neighborhood meeting occurred, and not seeing any comments now after it has been stated that “no impact” on the Greenlake community with SHARE residing at Bethany, says so much about the power of fear and the barriers we make for ourselves between people who have so much and people who have so little.

  2. greenlake resident says:

    It wasnt so much about fear as the way the church went about it – giving no notice – and just basically telling the neighbors this is what is going to happen and deal with it. As a matter of fact – I recall that after the meeting with the minister of the church and his fellow share people – he said he understood the neighbors concerns and promised a 30 day follow up meeting – hmmm – well that meeting never happened – so much for the minister and his “concern” for the neighbors. But why should he really care – he doesnt live here. Very disappointed in this church and their minister.

  3. Joey says:

    This is an unbalanced article. Of course the organizers would say this. Anything different and it would be a deathblow to future attempts. Was their an effort to seek-out comments from neighbors? That said, I’m sure the same was originally communicated about the Ballard shelter and we all know how that ended up.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the comment, Joey. This article reports on statements that were made at a community meeting. No dissenting voices were raised at the meeting. If they had, they would have been reported, as they were here:

    However, the lack of concerns voiced at the GLCC meeting does not, of course, mean that there are no continuing concerns. The post comments (right here!) are a good place to add those thoughts.

    Thanks again for your feedback,


  5. Joey says:

    If this was anything like I saw in Wallingford yesterday, where the voices of dissent were trivialized by the church’s pastor, then I would suspect that most w/ issues would refrain from attending any follow-up meetings. Just sayin’

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Joey – really appreciate your comments and thoughts. It’s good to get a discussion going on this issue!

    Yes, there is no doubt that the July meeting in Green Lake was very intense. From what I’ve read on Wallyhood and My Wallingford, it sounds like there were many similarities between the Green Lake meeting in July and the one last night in Wallingford.

    The meeting that this post reports on was not actually a follow-up meeting on the shelter. It was a general meeting of the Green Lake Community Council. In fact, SHARE was not on the initial list of topics that was publicized before the meeting – – they were a last minute addition. So, it is unlikely that any dissenting voices were kept away from the GLCC meeting by the fact that SHARE would be there.

    All of that said, I’m not arguing for or against the notion that the shelter has indeed had no negative impact on the surrounding neighborhood. Since your initial comment, I’ve given some thought your criticism that the article was unbalanced (thank you, truly, for the feedback!). I want to assure you that if I hear, either in a community meeting, in the comments to this post, or elsewhere that neighbors of the Green Lake shelter have noticed a negative impact, I will be sure to report on those voices.

    Many thanks, and please do keep the comments coming. This site is a work in progress and I learn a lot from your and others’ feedback.


  7. Meadowbrook Neighbor says:

    SHARE has been using the church basement in my neighborhood for 13 years, every night. Make no mistake, there have been issues with SHARE residents. Late night drinking outside, crack smoking behind the church, noise, etc. Granted, they do not happen every day or even every week, but there have been issues with the residents of SHARE. In addition, the church hosting SHARE does nothing for the residents when they are snowed in. It is left up to the neighbors to feed them. Even when some congregation members live right across the street or within a couple blocks (walking distance). The church and SHARE have entered into an arrangement, but neither steps up to the plate when the residents need help. If a church makes a commitment to host SHARE, someone should take responsibility for the residents when they are locked out, snowed in, etc. Not the neighbors, who had NO say in the arrangement to begin with. The church in our neighborhood also did not consult the neighbors prior to this arrangement being made and now they are voting on hosting Tent City 3 in December, January, February. I wonder who will take care of those 100+ residents when it snows.