Task force report on SHARE homeless shelter

On May 30th, a group of homeless men moved into a SHARE shelter at the vacant Calvary Lutheran Church in Ballard. As you may remember, it was a controversial addition to the neighborhood. A task force comprised of neighbors, SHARE and members of Our Redeemers Church was set up, and My Ballard received an email of the minutes from their last meeting in July.

There are 13 people using the shelter, the task force reports. The turnover rate has been pretty high — likely due to the location change and the fact that shelter occupancy rates tend to drop off in the summer months. “Some neighbors have noticed an increase in family use of Salmon Bay Park and noted overall quiet in vicinity since SHARE moved in,” the minutes read, explaining that SHARE members conduct security checks in the area three times a night. There have been three reports of loitering, when residents arrive before 7 p.m. And a neighbor reported seeing a SHARE member during the day inside the 10-block exclusion zone around the church. “This issue has been addressed,” the report reads, adding that neighbors should contact Marvin, SHARE’s organizer, immediately with any rule violations.

The Ballard Food Bank is within the 10-block zone, so SHARE members are restricted from going there. People are welcome to drop food off for the residents on any evening. “SHARE residents expressed appreciation for donations of food, clothing and 2 refrigerators,” the minutes read. “Overall, things are working out great,” a SHARE member said.

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

11 thoughts to “Task force report on SHARE homeless shelter”

  1. Hmmm, seems unfair that SHARE members cannot use the food bank because it's within a ten-block exclusion zone. Couldn't it be excluded from the exclusion zone? Or, included in an inclusion zone…

  2. Off-site grocery distribution for the Food Bank: Monday evening, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, at Our Redeemer's Church, 2400 NW 85th Street.

  3. I thought that the Ballard Food Bank was set up to provide food to locals. Here's what their web site says: “The Ballard Food Bank offers free food to those in the 98107, 98117 and 98199 zip codes. ” If that's true, then it makes sense to me that the food bank would not be providing food to people who are bused into Ballard and are not residents.

  4. Thanks for that information. It does make sense, and clears up a question in my mind that I've been too lazy to research. I've wondered whether people from outside our area can obtain food at the Ballard food bank. So, I guess these SHARE guys aren't considered to be Ballard residents.

  5. That's the stated goal, it doesn't appear to be the case.
    The shelter is a separate entity, and should not be included. I don't believe that the exclusion zone should be compromised, at all.

  6. I humbly admit that I was one that was concerned over Share's location in my neighborhood. Every irrational fear inside me sparked but I fortunately was greatly proved wrong. I dont' even notice them there. It has been quiet and overall they have been a respectful neighbor.
    what is a bigger hassle is the food bank. I KNOW that not everyone that visits the foodbank is homeless and probably 99% are respectful to the neighborhoods but I have to say that the 1% that isn't respectful are just plain obnoxious. They leave food, garbage at the bus stop and to their entire path down to Market. I know the people who run the foodbank are trying their best but it gets so annoying. I've spotted them more than once peeing in my neighbor's yard. One of my other neighbors had to actually attach string to their yard so the homeless wouldn't sleep on their lawn!

  7. So far it seems like the shelter has not caused any problems and that's a big relief. I'm surprised that though they can house 20 men there are only 13 right now – surely there are 7 more homeless men in Seattle who need shelter. Maybe a lot of them don't want to adhere to SHARE's rules though so they pass up a chance to stay in the shelter? Which bodes well for SHARE and shows they are sticking to a code of conduct. I think a lot of the reason Salmon Bay Park is a nicer place for families the last couple months though is because the poorly run soup kitchen program has ended. Speaking of which, I wondered too why the Ballard Food Bank should be off-limits but at the same time in a situation like this that is so controversial and sketchy to begin with it's probably good to have very clear, unwavering boundaries for everyone.

  8. I can't fathom how it is legal to exclude anyone from any part of the city? I can understand how people might be fearful of the unknown so perhaps if it was a family shelter these concerns would be mitigated?

  9. This message is not intended to start a debate – it is to answer some of the questions that I saw on the comment thread this morning. If you have any questions or concerns you are welcome to call me directly.

    The Ballard Food Bank distributes food to those that live in 98107, 98117 and 98199. If someone is living in a shelter, house, apartment, etc. in our distribution area, and they come to the food bank for services, we will ensure that they get food.

    When people come to the food bank, for food, that do not live in our catchment area our policy is to serve them on that day and give them referrals to their reference food bank.

    We are working with Our Redeemer's Shelter Liaison to get food to the shelter so that the residents are not in danger of breaking their contract which in part states that they will not be within the direct area of the shelter from 7 am to 7 pm. My understanding is that the residents sign off on the exclusion piece, it is part of their shelter rules.

    Food banks are not able to be the only source of food for anyone; if you want to assist the men at the shelter the story that began this conversation has instructions outlining the best way to get food to them.

    In regards to garbage in the immediate vicinity of the food bank, we are aware that garbage is a constant problem. We will continue to run garbage detail several times a day on our distribution days.


    Nancy McKinney

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