Seattle mayor wants to build a homeless shelter for drug users

Aug 23, 2016, 10:44 AM | Updated: Aug 24, 2016, 6:49 am

Seattle’s mayor is taking the idea of creating a safe place to do drugs a step further.

Mayor Ed Murray has proposed a homeless shelter that would allow, among other things, intoxicated residents, The Seattle Times reports.

The Times reports the dorm-style shelter would be similar to that of San Francisco’s Navigation Center. The Center is a pilot project that is called a “one-stop complex.” It allows people to sleep there while they try to find housing, go through rehabilitation and find employment.

Related: Seattleites get glimpse of safe injection sites

Another potential model is that of the services offered at 1811 Eastlake Ave. in Seattle, where chronic alcoholics are allowed to drink in their rooms and undergo treatment. That model, the Times reports citing a 2009 study, saves taxpayers millions of dollars.

The idea behind housing people with addiction is improving outreach. It goes further than the safe sites that have been proposed in cities such as Seattle. The sites were recently promoted in parks to inform the public of the benefits of having them.

Ashley Hempelmann, a former heroin addict, recently told KIRO Radio that a safe place to inject the drug would have helped her avoid contracting Hepatitis C.

“I wouldn’t have disposed of my needles in public receptacles or on the streets, and I probably would have gotten help a lot sooner,” she said.

Recent studies have found that more people are getting treatment for opiate addiction than alcohol in King County.

According to the county, opiate-related deaths have tripled since 2009. In 2014, there were 156 opiate-related deaths — the highest number in nearly two decades.

Other local governments have reacted as well. A proposal in Snohomish County, for example, asked voters to support an increased sales tax to help fund law enforcement and combat the drug epidemic in the area. That tax, however, was rejected.

Local News

Nate Connors

Weekend Traffic Report: NCAA March Madness comes to town

NCAA Women's Basketball is heading to Climate Pledge Arena Friday through Monday. Friday's game starts at 4:30 p.m.
1 day ago
Bill Kaczaraba

Starbucks CEO Narasimhan plans to ‘reinvent’ the company

Starbucks new CEO Laxman Narasimhan held his first shareholder meeting Thursday and offered proposals to reinvent the company.
1 day ago
(KIRO 7)...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Aurora borealis captured in night skies across Washington

Although the aurora was hidden behind clouds, parts of the region were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the display.
1 day ago
Frank Sumrall

10-month-old girl found after being abducted near Des Moines area

Washington State Patrol (WSP) searched and found a 10-month-old Gihanna Smith, who was allegedly abducted.
1 day ago
Frank Sumrall

Remo Borracchini, owner of beloved 100-year-old bakery, dies at 92

But, like many other local community establishments, Borracchini’s had to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
1 day ago
seattle humane...
Nicole Jennings

Pet surrenders up at Seattle Humane, not likely to slow down

The number of pets being surrendered at Seattle Humane is on the rise. Many people can no longer afford to keep their dogs and cats.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.
SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!
safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Seattle mayor wants to build a homeless shelter for drug users