The Community Shelter Meal hosted at Maple Leaf Lutheran Church in Meadowbrook brought out the usual volunteers this past April. Only difference, Shelter closed. Due to serious long term funding problems, the Power Lunch representatives (made up of representatives from the many shelters) from the SHARE organization desperately pleaded with those who hold the purse strings to ‘see the light’. They do not. Closure occurred March 31.
The most cost efficient shelter program in the state of Washington houses 300 residents at 13 different churches in the surrounding Seattle area. One of the points of contention is reporting and services. The SHARE program results in self-empowered and safe residents (important, yes?), King County and the City of Seattle want the SHARE organization to provide additional services (we do mention here they are in debt already).
The other portion of this frustration is the idea that additional reporting constitutes more housing opportunities. It does not. A problem most recognize, which makes the point, why won’t King County fund a program within their boundaries that impacts 300 residents every night? Maple Leaf’s shelter has been open since 1996. In 2007 King County helped fund a hygiene center at Maple Leaf.
Many thanks to the residents of NE Seattle We appreciate their determination to continue with the meal program, just like the April meal, a May meal is planned for the downtown King County Tent City. Church hosts, who are not a part of the funding picture (read, donate space, heat, light and water) have lobbied King County leadership with no reply or explanation