King County is adding 100 temporary shelter beds in Seattle for men in the next few days, and for the first time the county will allow some people to bring pets.
Citing the declared state of emergency around homelessness, King County is adding 100 temporary shelter beds in Seattle for men in the next few days, and for the first time the county will allow some people to bring pets.
The county is opening a new, pet-friendly shelter at 7 p.m. Saturday at 420 Fourth Ave., a building recently bought by the county after a video-game company moved out. It will hold 50 beds.
King County Executive Dow Constantine called the pet policy “a critical accommodation for many who need to stay warm but understandably won’t abandon an animal companion.”
The county is also expanding an existing shelter in its administration building downtown, providing the other 50 new beds as of Monday. That first-come, first-serve shelter has been running at capacity, said county spokesman Cameron Satterfield. He noted many people don’t bother waiting in line when they know they can’t get in.
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And even the new beds, funded by both the county and the city, are nowhere near enough. January’s One Night Count found 3,772 unsheltered people. Although the county’s new beds are only for men, women and children can also be found living on the streets, in cars and in authorized and unauthorized homeless camps.
“We know we’ve still got more work to do,” Satterfield said. He said the county has committed to making an additional $325,000 available to fund more shelter beds outside of Seattle.