Construction on the homeless shelter. Photo courtesy of J. Bendickson/Salt House Church

Construction on the homeless shelter. Photo courtesy of J. Bendickson/Salt House Church

Eastside women and family homeless shelter receives grant

Premera Blue Cross selected Catholic Community Services and the Sophia Way as recipients for the $250,000 grant.

Catholic Community Services (CCS) and The Sophia Way, organizations focused on providing shelter and other services to the unhoused, have received a social impact grant from Premera Blue Cross.

The grant, totaling at $250,000, will go toward onsite mental health services and construction for the new 24/7 Kirkland homeless shelter, which broke ground earlier this year and will be open by late 2020. It will be the only permanent shelter on the Eastside serving single women and families.

“I feel incredibly proud to be part of this project,” Rebecca Nightingale, project manager of the CCS-managed New Bethlehem Project, said. “I think the timing is right. I think adding in mental health services is critical.”

Nightingale described the process of applying for the grant as a collaborative effort between The Sophia Way and CCS. She said that it was around July that the organizations found out that they had received it, and that it was exciting to know that the shelter, which Nightingale referred to as the “capital campaign,” would have more financial support.

“To be able to put money toward closing that final small gap in the capital campaign as well as knowing we can ensure mental health services was a huge win,” she said, adding that it’s become increasingly difficult to find places willing to donate their spaces for an overnight shelter.

The Kirkland shelter was put into motion in 2017 and is set to be collaboratively operated by CCS and The Sophia Way. The two-story facility is located at Northeast 80th Street and 120th Avenue Northeast in Kirkland.

The $10 million project, in addition to the Premera grant, is being funded by the city of Kirkland, A Regional Coalition for Housing (ARCH) and King County, with further financial support from state and federal funds and private donations.

The shelter will encompass services that are not currently offered in one location on the Eastside. Nightingale said this often leads unhoused residents to travel to and from resources across cities to get the services they need, whether it be a bed for the night or case management.

“We’re not going to be putting people out into the street any longer,” the Sophia Way’s interim executive director Alisa Chatinsky said of the 24/7 shelter. “They don’t have to brave the cold or the rain, they won’t have to take buses, and they will receive all the same services we’re offering at our day center in one place.”

Chatinsky said she was “ecstatic” when she first heard about the grant and that she was “truly, truly grateful” to Premera.

“It takes a village, and we’re honored that the community supports us in our work,” she added.

Chatinsky also emphasized that the mental health component backed by the grant is “huge.”

“Homelessness is a very, very traumatic experience,” she said. “So understanding where our women are coming from and reaching where they’re at and assisting them in their recovery…with the programs we can offer them by having a mental health professional…is only going to result in better outcomes.”

Once it’s completed, the 24/7 shelter will offer daily services including sleeping units, a day center, onsite mental health and substance abuse treatment, housing-focused case management and amenities like laundry and showers. The structure be able to serve more than 100 unhoused residents on a daily basis and will ultimately replace the current rotation routine in place.

In addition to the other resources provided by the shelter, each floor of the building has a distinct purpose and organizational connection. On the first floor, private and communal spaces will be offered to families with children via the New Bethlehem Project, one of CCS’s current programs. The second floor will be run by The Sophia Way and will offer supportive services and private cubicles for women, according to a press release.

“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,” CCS King County agency director Bill Hallerman said in the release. “We’re grateful to the Premera Blue Cross for recognizing the critical need for mental health services and this facility.”

For more information about Catholic Community Services and Catholic Housing Services, visit ccsww.org. For more information about the Sophia Way, visit sophiaway.org.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@redmond-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.redmond-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Drive-thru COVID-19 virus testing last week in the parking lot near Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett. A study by the University of Washington and UnitedHealth Group, conducted at Everett Clinic locations, found that a less-intrusive form of the coronavirus test would require fewer precautions by health care workers. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
New self-swab COVID-19 test is just as accurate, study finds

The study, under peer review, was led by an Everett Clinic doctor. It could speed up testing nationwide.

Life Care Center (LCC) of Kirkland is facing more than $600,000 in fines for its response to the COVID-19 outbreak in its facility. Samantha Pak/Sound Publishing
Life Care in Kirkland facing more than $600K in fines for COVID-19 response

The facility has until Sept. 16 to pay or address areas of concern or it will be terminated.

Dentist checking patient’s teeth. Sound Publishing file photo
Dental foundation serves Medicaid patients through COVID-19

The Arcora Foundation is also attempting to expand its urgent care database, allowing those with different insurances to use its services during the outbreak.

Gov. Jay Inslee during a press conference April 2, 2020. (Photo courtesy of Gov. Inslee’s Facebook page)
Gov. Inslee extends stay-home order to May 4

As in other states, demand for intensive health care due to COVID-19 is expected to peak later in April.

Holmen named new superintendent for LWSD

Dr. Jon Holmen will replace Dr. Jane Stavem, who has resigned from the district and is moving to a superintendent position in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Unemployment claims continue to climb

For the week of March 22-28, claims have reached more than 181,000.

Inslee to state businesses: Pivot to make medical equipment

The governor said Wednesday that the state must become self-reliant in the fight against COVID-19.

Eastsiders utilize technology to keep things running during COVID-19 outbreak

Technology and online habits have allowed businesses, city governments, nonprofits and residents to keep going while maintaining social distancing.

Most Read