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Advisory committee forming for proposed Urban Rest Stop in Ballard

Posted by Meghan Walker on November 16th, 2012

An Urban Rest Stop is in the plans for the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) project at  2014 NW 57th Street, and an advisory committee is being formed to look at the details of adding the rest stop to the six-story low-income housing development. An Urban Rest Stop  is a facility that exists to give homeless people a place to clean up, access restrooms and do laundry. This will be the city’s third Urban Rest Stop; the first was built downtown at 1924 Ninth Ave, and the second is in the U-District.

Sharon Lee, executive director of LIHI, says the advisory committee will be a cross-section of Ballard, as they’ve invited everyone from the neighbors next door to the merchants nearby and the head of the Ballard Chamber of Commerce. The committee will primarily look at the design features, management, and hours of the rest stop. The first meeting is scheduled for the end of November and Lee says they will meet again in December and January.

Lee says the Urban Rest Stop in the U-District is busy, serving roughly 50 a day. There’s free laundry and several restrooms with showers. She envisions Ballard will serve a similar number of people, as our neighborhood has one of the highest homeless populations in Seattle. “The problem already exists in Ballard. People don’t have sufficient options for keeping themselves clean,” Lee said.

The funding for the Urban Rest Stop Ballard low-income housing development has already been established through the U.S. Department of Housing and Development (HUD); LIHI received $7.6 million from HUD for a Ballard senior housing project late last year. Lee says the development should be completed by early 2014. The Urban Rest Stop is being funded through private donations and Washington State Facilities funding, according to John Torrence with LIHI.

Lee added that community members are free to offer comment on the Urban Rest Stop. Email either Lee at sharonl@lihi.org or John Torrence at jtorrence@lihi.org to comment.

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