With snow flurries touching down in the Seattle area Tuesday and freezing temperatures in the forecast, cold-weather shelters are opening this week across King County to offer warm spaces for people living outside.
Currently, temperatures are expected to get as low as 21 degrees early Wednesday morning, which could set a new low-temperature record for Seattle on that day, said Dana Felton, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle. The lows will remain in the mid-20s to 30 degrees until it begins to warm up Saturday.
While the temperatures expected for Thursday and Friday likely won’t break records, Felton said, it’s “still unusually cold for this time of year.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, the King County Regional Homelessness Authority announced that two additional cold-weather shelters will open in Seattle and three more will open across the county. In addition, nine existing shelters are expanding their capacity to take on more people during this cold spell.
A large adult shelter will open at Seattle City Hall starting at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The overnight shelter, located at 600 Fourth Ave., will be able to hold 96 adults. It will be open from 7 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. daily and is expected to close Saturday morning if temperatures rise as expected. The Salvation Army will be operating the site.
In addition, a young adult shelter for people ages 18 to 24 is opening in South Seattle, located at 9416 Rainier Ave. S. It is currently expected to stay open until Friday morning.
Three overnight cold-weather shelters are currently open outside Seattle:
- In Shoreline, a cold-weather shelter is opening at St. Dunstan’s Church at 722 N. 145th St.
- Highline United Methodist Church in Burien is opening as an overnight shelter at 13015 First Ave. S.
- The old Chamber of Commerce building in Renton — 300 Rainier Ave. N. — is opening as a cold-weather shelter.
All three of those spaces will be open until Friday morning, but that timeline will be extended as needed.
At the beginning of 2022, the King County Regional Homelessness Authority took over Seattle and King County’s response for when temperatures plummet to lows that are especially dangerous for people living outside. In the past, the city of Seattle typically required more than an inch of snow and temperatures below 25 degrees to trigger cold-weather shelter activation. But those standards are changing with the Regional Homelessness Authority.
“We saw the forecast for overnight temperatures in the 20s for multiple days in a row and want to give people as many options as we can to stay warm,” Martens said. “That includes blankets and sleeping bags for outreach workers to hand out and opening spots where people can come and stay warm overnight.”
In addition to the five cold-weather shelters opening, here’s a list of existing shelters that are expanding their capacity this week to take on more people:
- Sundown Shelter, 2806 Auburn Way N., Auburn
- Arcadia Young Adult Shelter, 932 Auburn Way S., Auburn
- Congregations for the Homeless, 515B 116th Ave. N.E., Bellevue
- Helen’s Place, 8045 120th Ave. N.E., Suite 200, Kirkland
- Sophia’s Place, 3030 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue
- New Bethlehem Place, 8045 120th Ave. N.E., Suite 100, Kirkland
- Snoqualmie Valley Shelter Services, 38625 S.E. River St., Snoqualmie
- The Landing / Friends of Youth, 16101 N.E. 87th St., Redmond
- Orion Center, 1828 Yale Ave., Seattle
For families with children in King County seeking shelter, contact the King County Emergency Family Shelter intake line at 206-245-1026.
In Snohomish County, all six winter-weather shelters are currently open. Snohomish’s winter-weather shelters (located in Everett, Lynnwood, Monroe, Snohomish and Marysville) operate throughout the winter months, starting in November. Winter shelters typically open when overnight temperatures are expected to be below 34 degrees.
To find out if a shelter is open, visit Snohomish County’s website at st.news/SnohomishShelter.
To find the full list of emergency shelters in Pierce County, visit st.news/PierceShelter. The site updates daily with what shelters are currently open or closed and the capacity at each.
If you are homeless in Seattle or King County and trying to get inside, call 211 or 877-211-9274.