Now that residents of Nickelsville have moved out of the old Fire Station 39, two groups are competing for control of the 1949 building.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn announced that he and council would work to turn the firehouse into a shelter, but the question is, who will run it?
SHARE/WHEEL and Union Gospel Mission have both put forward proposals.The groups say they'd use a portion of the firehouse as "wet shelter," a place where the intoxicated can safely sleep off the effects of drugs or alcohol.
SHARE's proposal calls for accommodating about 55 people, roughly split between the wet shelter and a men's and women's shelter. Residents in that portion of the firehouse would manage themselves by group vote, similar to other SHARE/WHEEL shelters.
Union Gospel Mission would divide the firehouse four ways to accommodate 100 in a wet shelter, an overnight shelter for men and women, family housing and a medical respite unit for those just out of the hospital.
Union Gospel Mission is offering to operate the shelter with human services for free, at no cost to the city.
SHARE says its proposal would cost the city about $270,000. WHEEL staff member Beatrice Friberg said the group has an 11-year track record of running a wet shelter at the Frye Hotel.