CCS and The Sophia Way have been selected to receive a $250,000 Social Impact Grant from Premera Blue Cross. This grant will provide funding for onsite mental health services and support for families and women seeking help at the new Kirkland Shelter. Construction of the new two-story shelter has begun and the facility, located at 80th Street and 120th Avenue NE, is scheduled to open in the fall of 2020.

According to Bill Hallerman, CCS King County Agency Director, “We’re thrilled to receive this significant Premera grant that will enhance our collaboration with The Sophia Way to provide the only Eastside 24-7 shelter serving homeless families and single women.  We’re grateful to Premera Blue Cross for recognizing the critical need for mental health services and this facility.”

The $10 million project has been in the works since 2017, and is being funded jointly by the City of Kirkland, ARCH, King County, state and federal funds along with private donations from individuals, foundations and businesses.  The new shelter will be jointly operated by CCS and The Sophia Way. The first floor will house the New Bethlehem Project, a program of CCS, where families with children will have access to communal and private spaces.  The second floor, operated by The Sophia Way, will provide private cubicles and supportive services for adult women.  When completed, the shelter will offer improved daily services to 100+ individuals, including a day center, sleeping units, laundry and shower facilities, on-site mental health and substance abuse treatment and housing focused case management.

The centralized Kirkland location will replace a rotating shelter model that makes travel and access to the full range of services a major barrier for families and single women struggling to meet basic needs.  The Premera Impact Grant will help fund vital on-site behavioral health services including a dedicated full-time mental health professional who will work with shelter guests to address mental health and substance abuse issues that often lead to and perpetuate homelessness.  Inclusion of onsite behavioral health, coupled with case management has been shown to increase positive health and housing outcomes for those experiencing homelessness.

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