Frequently Asked Questions


Why do we need another shelter when there are already overnight shelters and car camps?
There is not yet enough shelter space to bring inside the many families and women who are outside. The current system means that women and families must move each day from shelter to day center and back again, without the stability of a fixed place to store their belongings and have a base from which to address their homelessness.

How does the partnership work between Catholic Community Services and The Sophia Way?
Catholic Community Services (CCS) will own the building, and New Bethlehem Project (a program of CCS) will offer services on the first floor to families with children. The Sophia Way (TSW) will lease the second floor from CCS and offer services to single adult women. The two agencies will work closely together to share the facility and make the programs succeed for the clients, the neighborhood, and the City of Kirkland.

How is the New Bethlehem Project /The Sophia Way partnership going to raise all the funds needed?
The New Bethlehem Project (a program of CCS) and The Sophia Way are each embarking upon a capital campaign for the building construction and operating funds needed in addition to the public funding that CCS is securing. Each partner is responsible for raising $1,000,000. They are reaching out to churches, foundations, and community supporters, who have been responding enthusiastically and generously.

Does the campaign goal include operating funds or just construction costs? How will operations of the shelter be funded in the future?
The Eastside CARES capital campaign has an $800,000 Pathways operating fund built into the campaign goal. This fund will combine with existing operating budgets and shelter programs to provide an operating budget. Future funding will depend on continued support from existing and new funders. We believe that our outcomes of helping women and families find stability and housing will persuade our supporters to continue to fund our work.

How long will it take to raise the projected costs?
NBP and TSW capital campaigns are expected to last throughout 2018. Our efforts for public funding have already been successful with contributions by State Housing Trust Fund, City of Kirkland, ARCH, Eastside cities, and WA State Legislature. The King County application is still pending.

How long will it take to construct the building?
It will take about one year from the groundbreaking.

What is the square footage of the new building?
The lot size is 15,712 sf, and the actual building is 19,074 sf.

Will the current New Bethlehem day center remain open?
After the new building opens, the New Bethlehem day center will move its operations to the new space.

What happens to the space in the basement of Salt House when the day center moves?
Salt House is looking to identifying a new use of their basement to provide useful additional services to shelter guests once the permanent shelter and day center are occupied. At this point, they envision the possibility of a neighborhood preschool, daycare, or pet care center, but are open to other ideas that may emerge over the next two years.

Will the current day center furniture, appliances, computers and solar panels move to the new shelter?
The solar panels are permanently installed at Salt House and will remain with the church. The architects have built solar panels into the plans of the permanent shelter to help with utility costs and to be environmentally friendly. The computers and furniture will be moved to the new shelter building. A plan for appliances is currently in the works.

How many people can stay at the new shelter?
The Sophia Way area will have 48 beds for single adult women and can accommodate 50-70 women in the day center. The area for families, run by New Bethlehem Project, will accommodate between 12 and 18 families overnight, and 40-60 people in the day center.

Are existing programs relocating? Expanding?
The Sophia Way is an Eastside program exclusively dedicated to helping end homelessness for single adult women in King County. They will move their 7-month Eastside Women’s Emergency Winter Shelter (currently open 8:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m.) and Day Center (currently open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily) to this location and their vision is to expand these programs into a 24/7 year-round shelter at the new facility.

The New Bethlehem Project day center (a program of CCS) currently open seven days a week for six hours a day in a space at the Salt House Church, will relocate to the new building. CCS’s Eastside Winter Overnight Shelter for families, which currently rotates among Eastside churches, would have a permanent home in the new building. Our vision is to expand these programs into a 24/7 year-round shelter at the new facility.

Does the City of Kirkland support the project?
The City of Kirkland is making this project possible. The City Council has included siting and building the shelter in the last two adopted City Work Programs, which designate the City Council’s highest priorities. The City Council has approved the purchase of the land at the Salt House Church site, which will be leased to CCS and TSW for the shelter, and has provided other funding and in-kind support. City staff is actively participating in the planning and funding of the project. The community feedback received to date has been overwhelmingly positive, and the City will continue to support outreach efforts to further educate the community regarding the critical need for this facility.

Where will the shelter be located? Has the neighborhood been notified?
The project will be located at the intersection of NE 80th St and 120th Ave NE in Kirkland. It will be placed in the northwest corner of land that the City of Kirkland purchased from Salt House Church. It is within walking distance of grocery stores, pharmacies, and personal care stores, and sits on a major bus route with a stop on NE 80th. Several community meetings were held beginning in Spring 2016 to discuss the day center and shelter project with neighbors and community members, led by the community at Salt House Church. The community and neighborhood have been very supportive of the project, and are looking forward to volunteering at the new shelter.

Will the people that stay at the shelter be screened at all? What about drug and alcohol use? What happens if there are issues that come up, related to drug and alcohol use?
Participation in the shelter and day center programs is based on behavior and safety. Clients are not required to be clean and sober, but they are not allowed to use drugs, alcohol, or marijuana on site. Smoking tobacco will be allowed in the smoking area outside. If a person comes in under the influence, they may stay as long as they do not behave dangerously or disruptively. Staff will engage clients to address substance abuse along with other barriers to housing and success.

Will the shelter increase crime in the neighborhood?
CCS and TSW have many years of experience operating shelters for families and women. Neighborhoods, where our programs are located, have not experienced increased crime linked to our programs. There may be an increase in 911 calls for medical assistance because of the health vulnerabilities of many of our clients.