Fight against homelessness: DESC plans new housing at Interbay

IInterbay is expected to receive more housing to help serve the city’s most vulnerable residents.

Daniel Malone, executive director of the Downtown Emergency Services Center, shared the organization’s plans to open new permanent supportive housing on 15e Avenue West in Interbay during the Queen Anne Community Council meeting on October 12.

DESC is a homelessness service organization focused on adults experiencing homelessness, particularly those with more complex conditions, such as mental illness and substance use disorders. In addition to managing and operating shelters, DESC is a behavioral health organization licensed to provide mental health and addictions services as part of its work, Malone said.

“Supportive housing…is by far the most studied intervention for chronic homelessness and the one with the best outcomes for people emerging from homelessness,” Malone said.

DESC already has considerable experience providing services in the Queen Anne and Interbay neighborhoods, Malone said.

For many years he operated an overnight shelter on the grounds of Sacred Heart Church in Uptown near the Seattle Center. More recently, DESC operated an overnight shelter for men in Lower Queen Anne on property owned by Seattle City Light on Roy Street.

DESC has also opened a 100-unit supportive housing called Interbay Place on the Queen side of 15e and Boston, Malone said.

This facility is similar to what DESC is pursuing further north on 15e Avenue West, Malone said.

Architects have begun designing the new facility at 2626 15e Ave. W., across from the golf course. When completed, it will include 105 studio units on the upper floors and a reception office, consulting rooms, in-house medical practice, lounge, conference rooms and a commercial kitchen and dining room on the ground floor. pavement.

“These are relatively small studios that are furnished but fully equipped with a small kitchen and bathroom,” Malone said, adding that the units are around 350 square feet and are meant to sleep one person.

Tenant services available to residents include case management or on-site support services; assistance with meals and transportation; on-site community events or groups; accessible building design; medical awareness; help with chores.

“So the point of this kind of housing is to help people who have, you know, really big challenges in their lives to get and keep housing, because what we’re seeing is people are able to house themselves – usually when people move into their housing, they stay there for the long term and their lives get much, much better,” Malone said. “They end up having better health outcomes, they end up happier, they end up finding different words to connect to community life after often very long and traumatic life experiences.”

Malone said the facility will feature secure entrances and a 24-hour front desk throughout the year. Visitors must register at reception.

“We pay particular attention to our role as a neighbor in the neighborhoods in which we have buildings, and this includes an emphasis on security, so we want to ensure that tenants are safe in their buildings and apartments,” said Malone said additional tenants are required to sign an expectations agreement with their leases.

Malone said DESC began designing the facility in May and applied for funding in September. The organization has already met with area residents at a neighborhood community meeting and will hold another in November.

Additionally, DESC hopes to wrap up the project in November and secure government funding in December. Malone said the architects would submit planning permission in March 2023, with construction starting in August 2023.

“Typically, construction takes 16 months or something, so we don’t expect to open this building to tenants until late 2024 or early 2025,” Malone said.

Once opened, the facility is intended to provide long-term or permanent accommodation for tenants.

“A lot of people stay, either until the end of their life or they need a higher level of care,” Malone said. “The average age of people living in our homes is in their early to mid-50s, and a sad reality of long periods of time on the streets is that people have quite dramatically shortened life expectancies,” said Malone. “And so a number of people are known to have a life expectancy in the early 60s, and so we see a lot of end-of-life issues, even among people who aren’t very old, and so that’s a This is why we often focus on bringing health care resources and other forms of support to people in our buildings, because the traditional long-term care system does not accommodate them very well. , sometimes.

Malone said DESC would be interested in establishing a good neighbor agreement with the Queen Anne Community Council, a common practice between organizations such as DESC and neighbors, as well as showing plans for the facility, as and as they develop, with the QACC Land Use Review Committee.

For more information about DESC, visit www.desc.org. Contact Community Engagement Coordinator Anne Williamson, [email protected], if you have any questions.

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