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Nyer Urness House celebrates first birthday

Posted by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin on April 16th, 2014

cherylIt has been an entire year since Nyer Urness House (1753 NW 56th St) first opened its doors to provide formerly homeless men and women with safe and comfortable permanent housing.

The team at Compass Housing Alliance are proud of their achievements so far and are excited to celebrate this special milestone with the local community.

Nyer Urness House has assisted 80 members of the local homeless community within the past year, by providing them with a permanent place to call home.

The very first person to call Nyer Urness home was Cheryl (pictured above), who was left homeless after coping with mental illness and unemployment. Cheryl was living in Hammond House, Compass Alliance’s overnight women’s shelter, when she moved into her own apartment at Nyer Urness.

Cheryl had been without a home for four years and now, with her own apartment, she is able to better manage the symptoms of her mental illness. If she needs help or support she is now able to go downstairs and turn to the Nyer Urness staff.

“I owe this place everything,” Cheryl says. “I’m so grateful to everyone who contributed to making this possible.”

According to Amy Besunder, the Compass Housing Alliance Capital Campaign Manager, the first year at Nyer Urness has been “filled with miracles.” These miracles have included watching one resident successfully battle cancer and return safely home in remission to Nyer Urness.

Compass Alliance are currently working on their newest project, Peter’s Place, which serves the homeless community in Seattle’s Central Area.

The center offers fresh, nutritious food, hot coffee, showers, hygiene and laundry facilities and counseling/referral services for homeless men and women. At night, the Peter’s Place opens its doors as an overnight shelter to 40 men and 10 women.

The organization recently launched its $60K in 60 Days fundraising campaign to support the important services offered at Peter’s Place.

“When a person walks through the door, they’re taking the first step on their journey out of homelessness. For as little as $15, you can help provide a welcoming space at Peter’s Place for our neighbors who are homeless,”  says Besunder.

Over here in Ballard it is clear that Nyer Urness House has become a key support for the local homeless community and has had a big impact on our neighborhood as a whole.

“A place to call home and a kind and caring environment can dramatically change a life for the better. We thank the Ballard community for welcoming and supporting Nyer Urness House,” says Besunder.

Happy Birthday Nyer Urness from the team at My Ballard!

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10 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Sean // Apr 16, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Please keep us updated on the number of residents the facility has been able to take off our streets and transition into a more permanent setting. I imagine the goal is to establish stability and sobriety. Once this has been achieved for current residents, will room be made for other homeless people in our neighborhood? Thank you!

  • 2 Sam // Apr 16, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Amazingly successful! Plus in that year the number of hobos in Ballard has grown and so have the fights and stabbings.

  • 3 Avatar of Mondoman Mondoman // Apr 16, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Sean, the House serves the Seattle area, not Ballard, so the folks housed there are by and large not the Ballard formerly homeless.

    However, a salute to the House staff for always promptly answering their front desk phone.

    An even bigger salute to the Seattle Fire Department for often turning off their sirens on their >100 calls to the House per year so as not to unduly disturb the neighbors in this residential area.

  • 4 Norse // Apr 16, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    And they said that this type of housing would cut down on the number emergency calls. That doesn’t seem to be working now does it?

    Now that Cheryl is better — will she get a job and graduate out of the facility or will she have a home for life?

  • 5 guesty // Apr 16, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    yep, such a success for the neighborhood. yay.

    its nice to know ballard will now always have an influx of “diverse” and “colorful” residents.

    yay, again.

  • 6 Ballardite // Apr 16, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    You NIMBYs should be ashamed of yourselves. There but for the grace of God go any of us. I grew up poor and now I own the nicest house on my Ballard block (and I fixed it up). I’m not selling to any developers and I pay taxes and shop locally and support our community. But if you schmucks had had your way when I was a kid, my mom and I would have been homeless. Socioeconomic bigotry is really the worst kind.

  • 7 Ballardite // Apr 16, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    I’ll add that Nyer Urness and other Seattle permanent housing for homeless people is some of the best work being done for homeless folks in the country.

  • 8 Ballardite // Apr 16, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    P.S. You go, Cheryl! I hope you’re loving life in Ballard. Very glad you’re here :)

  • 9 Avatar of Mondoman Mondoman // Apr 16, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    [quote]Nyer Urness and other Seattle permanent housing for homeless people is some of the best work being done for homeless folks in the country[/quote]
    Since Urness House doesn’t ask its aid recipients to take personal responsibility and to try to turn their lives around, I would think that organizations that do ask this, like Delancey Street (http://www.delanceystreetfoundation.org/aboutus.php), would be more deserving recipients of the tens of millions of dollars of public money spent on buildings like Urness House.

  • 10 James // Apr 18, 2014 at 8:45 am

    I don’t understand why this complex was put up in the heart of ballard right next door to plenty of bars. It seems this place should have been established some where else where addictive vices aren’t as easily tempted. I am all for helping the homeless, I just would prefer it to be on outskirts of a city rather than bringing in potentially dangerous people closer.

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