A partnership between the City, Sound Transit, and LIHI, Rosie’s Tiny House Village will provide on-site wrap-around services including case management and housing navigation to help people end their experience with homelessness
Today, the Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) announced the opening of Rosie’s Tiny House Village in the University District, which adds 36 new units of shelter and will serve up to 50 people currently living unsheltered. The new village, located at 1000 NE 45th Street, will provide 24/7 on-site staffing and wrap-around services including case management, hygiene, a common kitchen area, hot meals, housing navigation, employment, and health resources.
This project was a partnership between the City of Seattle and Sound Transit, which leased the property to the City at no cost. The lease is for one year and can be renewed for up to three years. The property will eventually be converted to a transit-oriented development. The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) will operate the village.
This is the first of three tiny house village projects approved as part of the 2021 budget. In total, 117 new village units are anticipated to open over the next month. The existing Interbay Tiny House Village will expand by 34 units and is expected to open by early November. This will bring the total number of tiny houses at Interbay to 70. The new Friendship Heights Tiny House Village in North Seattle is anticipated to open 47 units in mid-November.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought tremendous challenges to all of Seattle, but especially to our neighbors experiencing homelessness. As a city, we have allocated unprecedented resources to address the immediate impacts of the pandemic, such as creating a safer 24/7 enhanced shelter system, providing food access, and expanding hygiene resources. Still, we know that we must continue creating long-term investments in housing to address the scale of the crisis,” said Mayor Jenny A. Durkan. “We expect to open 830 permanent homes and enhanced shelter spaces through the end of the year. These life-saving investments mean we will bring hundreds of households out of parks and public rights-of-way and into safer spaces while ending the experience of homelessness for hundreds more.”
When the pandemic arrived in Seattle last year, HSD staff collectively pulled together to not only address the health and safety of shelter guests, but also to increase and improve our shelter inventory. While staff and providers have been stretched thin, this year alone HSD anticipates the opening of over 700 new 24/7 enhanced shelter spaces, including Rosie’s, which will provide much needed safe shelter spaces as we approach winter. It takes many partners working towards the same goal of supporting our most vulnerable neighbors to make projects like Rosie’s a reality. I would like to thank Mayor Durkan, Councilmember Pedersen, the Low Income Housing Institute, Sound Transit, our staff in HSD, Finance and Administrative Services (FAS), and everyone who played a part in standing up this program.Tanya Kim, Acting Director of HSD
“LIHI is thrilled to be able to provide 50 people living unsheltered a safe, heated, welcoming tiny house, with privacy and dignity. What’s even better, the village will serve as a bridge to permanent housing,” said Sharon Lee, Executive Director of LIHI. “We are grateful for Mayor Durkan’s and Councilmember Pedersen’s leadership and Sound Transit for making this site available. It took the hard work of many people at Sound Transit, HSD, FAS and LIHI working together to make today possible. They should all take pride in helping make a difference in the lives of our unsheltered neighbors.”
“This new tiny home village is an inspiring example of partnerships among governments, nonprofits, and community to address our most pressing crisis— homelessness. By working together and leveraging publicly-owned land, we’re creating a place, forging a path, and instilling hope for dozens of unsheltered people to come off the streets, stabilize their lives, and transition to permanent housing,” said Councilmember Alex Pedersen, District 4 (Northeast Seattle). “I’m very grateful to Sound Transit, the Low Income Housing Institute, and HSD for enabling us to finally finish this life-saving project.”
“This partnership is an example of how Sound Transit is working with cities to address the urgent challenges facing people experiencing homelessness,” said Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff. “This innovative use of property first used for construction staging when building our new U District station is helping us tackle the most critical need burdening our region. We are grateful to the elected leaders of Seattle in partnering with us on this effort.”
Shelter referrals into Rosie’s will be made by HSD’s HOPE Team based on shelter recommendations from their outreach provider partners. A Community Advisory Committee (CAC) will be formed to provide community input on operations and address concerns. The CAC will meet monthly and members often include immediate neighbors, businesses, community and faith groups, and service providers.
HSD will maintain oversight of this project through the end of the year. Beginning in 2022, the new King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA) will take on administration of the homelessness budget and contracts, including all three new villages opening this year. The City opened its first tiny house village in 2017 and now funds nine villages providing 333 units of shelter.
By the end of the year, the City funded system will include 2,837 units of shelter, an increase of over 530 beds, of which 250 are permanent, over pre-pandemic levels (Q4 2019).
**This post was originally published on the Homelessness Response blog along with a table of City-funded shelter beds opening in Q3 and Q4 2021.