March 26, 2014
Vol: 21 No: 13

News

KentHOPE expands services to homeless women in South King County

By Aaron Burkhalter / Staff Reporter

KentHOPE’s day center opened in December. Clients from the day center use KentHOPE’s rotating shelter, which opened in March.

Photo by Ngoc Tran

Photo by: Aaron Burkhalter , Staff Reporter

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KentHOPE, a consortium of Kent churches providing shelter and services for homeless people, opened a shelter for up to 20 women that will be located at multiple churches through October. The shelter fills the gap left when Catholic Community Services’ winter shelter closed March 15.

KentHOPE also operates a day center at 9009 Canyon Dr. on Kent’s East Hill that opened in December. The day center’s clients are using the KentHOPE shelter now.

“They’ve been our guests since Dec. 16 and our friends,” said Pat Gray, chair of KentHOPE.

The rotating shelter is currently at Kent United Methodist Church, at 11010 SE 248th St. It will stay there until April 15. Gray is trying to find six other churches to agree to host the shelter for a month each until Oct. 15, when the winter shelter opens again.

Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission is providing staff, mats and blankets for the shelter. Gray is working with churches to find the space and coordinating volunteers to help. The shelter can take up to 20 women but so far has hosted fewer than 10 each night.

The rotating shelter is the next step in KentHOPE’s effort to build a network of services for homeless people.

KentHOPE opened the day center in December in a house owned by Union Gospel Mission.

The organization has been trying to establish a permanent shelter and day center, despite resistance from area residents and business owners.

Since 2012, KentHOPE organizers have attempted to lease three buildings from the city or private landowners to establish the permanent shelter, but were rejected.

The organization has a letter of intent to purchase a property in Kent, Gray said, but she cannot provide details until the deal closes. Gray said she wants a building that can house 50 people overnight with space for a day center with showers, computers and case management.

In January, the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness found 63 people living unsheltered in Kent.

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Comments

Homeless people need REGULAR HOUSING & LIVING-WAGE JOBS, not thrown in a prison-like church on 8-mats while the church RAKES-IN PILES OF TAXPAYER CASH!

August | submitted on 03/29/2014, 3:29pm


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