Compass Center plans 7-story building

At the Ballard District Council meeting Wednesday night, the Compass Center previewed their plans to build a facility for the homeless at the now-empty lot at 1753 NW 56th St. The 7-story building will feature 80 units of permanent housing for both homeless men and women. (Earlier plans were for a women-only facility.) “We have no worries about filling 80 units of housing,” said M.J. Kiser with the Compass Center. “We’re just anxious to get it up and going.” The facility will be staffed around the clock, and Kiser said they’ll offer support services including treatment for mental health and substance abuse. “I know we’ll have some of the folks from Ballard, but unfortunately we have 80 units, and there are more than 80 homeless folks in Ballard,” she said.

As for when the facility will open, the Compass Center said they expect to finish construction in February of 2012. In the meantime, they plan to level the ground and plant grass in the empty lot. One neighbor at the council meeting, Michael Wolf, asked if he could suggest ideas for the empty lot in the meantime. Some of the ideas, he told us after the meeting, include a community garden, public art or just a place for people to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee. Compass Center organizers said they invite ideas from the neighborhood, so stay tuned.


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Lars
Guest
Lars

Welcome to the neighborhood.

When does construction start? It may be a big waste of money to really put anything in there but grass. Just plant it and we'll sit.

Structural
Guest
Structural

Great, another bumotel…..

TTTCOTTH
Guest
TTTCOTTH

Bums, Transients, Drug Addicts, and Crazies warehoused in Ballard. What could possibly go wrong?

wendi1
Guest
wendi1

Good for the Compass Center for providing housing, treatment and resources to those of us who are down on our luck. Those folks who will be using this home are those who are engaged in their own well being. Please try to be more supportive and less judgmental of the homeless. There are many reasons why people become homeless and they deserve a better life, just as others do. It does not help to generalize all homeless people – especially when they are seeking resources at a place like Compass Center. We're lucky to have an organization like this in our neighborhood that is trying to help improve the lives of homeless people.

TenzingNorgay
Guest
TenzingNorgay

It seems a fair amount of the homeless around here are of able body and qualified to enlist in the armed forces. Food's provided, as are skill sets that can be applied to a career once the service contract is fulfilled. And as a former Marine, I can say that a significant portion of jarheads are somewhat mentally unstable and used their fair share of drugs prior to enlistment…

Shane Dillon
Member
Shane Dillon

Great, just what Ballard needs. How about creating more jobs and infrastructure instead of more housing (and I mean condo's AND shelters) when so much is still for sale.

Gurple
Member

Perhaps less will go wrong than the current situation — bums, transients, drug addicts, and crazies (I would use very different words, but, hey, whatever) in Ballard but /not/ housed.

Newmster
Guest
Newmster

Three primary reasons for homelessness: serious mental disorder, long-term substance abuse and runaways (due to physical and emotional abuse at home). The terms, “down of their luck” is a pretty outdated term. Many of these people–even if they're mentally sound and sober–have difficulty living a “normal” life and will continuously require public assistance.

stopthebuzz
Guest
stopthebuzz

You want a non-profit to build infrastructure and jobs on this lot that they own?

Shane Dillon
Member
Shane Dillon

Do they actually own the lot? I am sure that Compass get some assistance finacially from somewhere as they don't actually 'make' any money but rely on donations. All I am saying is, it is very well housing/helping people but there has to be a long term target to get them not needing assistance. Isn't is ridiculous that the same guys are in Ballard after 7 years still selling Real Change and still living in a shelter?

Give a man a fish and he feeds for a day, teach a man to fish……..

SPG
Guest
SPG

There will definitely be some problems from the residents, but how many problems and how many of the other residents will take the opportunity to move out on their own successfully? If Compass Center does this right, and there's no indication they won't, then this should ultimately reduce the number of homeless on the street causing problems.
Here's to hoping that Compass can help those who want to be helped, and that those people don't become the new “Kan I axe you a Kweschun?” couple.

Lars
Guest
Lars

COMPASS CENTER BALLARD LLC owns the lot. Sorry for screaming but I copied and pasted from the King County Parcel Viewer:
http://www5.kingcounty.gov/kcgisreports/propert

Housing the homeless is part of a long term target. Give folks a roof over their head and a sense of security and the rest will follow. See: Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

NoraBell
Guest
NoraBell

I think the key phrase here is 'Support Services.' They aren't just being dumped here for the sake of a roof over their heads. It's an important difference, IMO.

Jules
Member
Jules

The truly odd thing about the “Kan I axe you a Kweschun?” girl is that I see her EVERY DAY and EVERY SINGLE DAY I tell her that I am NEVER going to give her money….and she seems not to actually recognize me from one day to the next- heck, from one hour to the next. Over the last 2 years or so I have gone from being polite to …not so much . I think she's got more than one screw loose. I just wish we could get those animals away from her; that cat-in-a-basket has got to be terrified 24/7. Ergo I have Animal Control's number in my cel phone.

stopthebuzz
Guest
stopthebuzz

Perhaps you can acquaint yourself with what Compass Center does and then have a conversation about it.

ZephyrV2
Guest
ZephyrV2

I had volunteered to serve Thanksgiving dinner at a Women's Shelter run by the Compass Center. The residents there were very respectful of the volunteers and one another. Many of these women escaped from domestic violence situations. The shelter offered them an alternative to being homeless.

Of course that is not to say that troubles do not and will not arise. Regardless of who the residents are, you've got several people living in a compact location. Add the fact that the residents are living high stress lives, and Iwould expect an occaisional outburst. But then, you'll get that in other high density residences as well (condos/apartments). Evidence is all the posts on the forum from folks complaining about loud, disrespectful or irresponsible neighbors.

I will assume that the folks in this shelter will be better citizens than if they were on the street. As a resident, benefiting from the Compass Center, they will feel a responsibility to represent the organization in a positive way. And doing so will hopefully give them some sense of pride back that will get them on their way to living independent lives again.

robertrichmond
Guest
robertrichmond

I think that is just great! Im glad that the private sector realy does want to help out the community!

ym
Guest
ym

Which is of course why we have so many crimes committed by military personnel today. Sorry I am not in favor of giving weapons it mentally unstable people.

ym
Guest
ym

I doubt she really looks much at you.

NEIGHB0R
Guest
NEIGHB0R

I'm sorry, this is not a conversation about “crimes committed by military personnel” or the insinuation that homeless locals are mentally unstable and/or drug users. It is about a building and a property-owner's intended us for it. Take your trolling elsewhere, please.

NEIGHB0R
Guest
NEIGHB0R

Are you a homelessness expert? If so, please cite your sources. I'd be interested to see where these three primary reasons are documented and the methodology for documenting such traits in a transient population. Thank you, Newmster.

NEIGHB0R
Guest
NEIGHB0R

Are you a member of Compass Center's service personnel, screening body or volunteer group? If not, I'm curious why you wish to assume that they are doing an inadequate job.

Lars
Guest
Lars

I have neighbors who live (and own) in single family homes who are drug addicted dealers. I would trade them in for a place like Compass plans any day.

ohgreatohgreat
Guest
ohgreatohgreat

The Compass Center is exempt from property tax. good luck with that..

ohgreatohgreat
Guest
ohgreatohgreat

Try living near one of their other “centers”…. The turnover in their centers is quite frequent. Lots of new strangers in the residential neighborhood. It is not fun.