Today, King County Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) announced the selection of two new operators for Health Through Housing buildings in Auburn and Federal Way. These two buildings will move one step further toward implementation with openings forecasted by the end of 2022.
The two organizations will coordinate the 24/7 onsite operations at each location. Compass Housing Alliance will operate the former Clarion Inn at 916th Street NW in Auburn and Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle will operate the former Extended Stay America on 320th Street in Federal Way.
“We are excited for Urban League and Compass Housing to join the team of Health Through Housing providers that will house 1,600 people experiencing or at risk of chronic homelessness,” said Leo Flor, DCHS Director. “Health Through Housing is a key part of the solution to housing people experiencing chronic homelessness in our region, and both operators take a human-centered, community-based approach to the services they provide. We also proudly partner with the City of Auburn and the City of Federal Way in our bold action to provide homes and services for people who would otherwise be homeless. These two buildings and the partnerships that make them possible will bring 200 people home this year.”
Compass Housing is a long-time operator of supportive housing and services for people experiencing homelessness, and Urban League is a new addition to the Health Through Housing program. While Urban League is a first-time operator of supportive housing, this organization has historically provided housing and services to people of color who make up a disproportionate share of the homeless population.
“The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle has served this region’s Black and underserved communities for more than 90 years. The County recognizes that the best care and response comes from those who look like the people they are serving. We are a first-time operator of supportive housing, but we are experts in uplifting and supporting our community and look forward to partnering with the Federal Way community and others to bring our most marginalized friends and neighbors inside,” said Michelle Merriweather, President & CEO of Urban League.
“Compass Housing Alliance is excited about this opportunity to bring our expertise and compassion to Auburn,” said Mary Steele, Executive Director at Compass Housing Alliance. “We believe that supportive housing like what is offered through the Health Through Housing partnership is the key to addressing homelessness and housing instability across the county.”
The selected operators will begin their hiring processes to assemble staff to provide a range of 24/7 services and supports for the residents who will make one of the two buildings their new home. The operators will also work to engage local area residents and city leaders as the planning for occupancy takes shape.
To date, King County has acquired 980 rooms and housed nearly 600 people in Health Through Housing buildings. King County anticipates another five buildings opening to new residents by early 2023.