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300 volunteers prepare temporary housing for Seattle homeless

SEATTLE -- It doesn’t matter where you live in Western Washington, you can’t help but notice a growing homeless problem.

Seattle City Council members are considering a plan to tax big businesses like Amazon with the money going to fund homeless. But two groups aren’t waiting for the city council’s expected vote in March.

Instead, Saturday about 300 volunteers worked at two locations to provide temporary housing to people who need it.

“Working on stairs, platforms for the kitchens, a number of things,” said Low-Income Housing Institute’s Bradford Gerber.

About 50 volunteers took their tools to build the newest additions to this tiny house village in Northlake on Seattle city-owned property.

“These tiny house villages provide a warm safe place for people to stay as they look for permanent housing,” said Gerber.

A large portion of the funding for the studio apartment building complex is coming from the voter-approved housing levy and investments from the low-income tax levy.  Supplies largely came from private donations.

On the other side of town, 200 more volunteers pour into a brand new supportive housing building with 91 studio apartments for the chronically homeless.

“People who have been on the streets or in shelters for many years and they’ll be moving into their own private apartments,” said DESC Executive Director Daniel Malone.

Volunteers provided and then set-up the rooms with brand new supplies to help the new residents get their lives back on track.

“Basic things like silverware and glasses,” said Volunteer Jacqi Goodrich.

Whether in Mount Baker neighborhood or at the Northlake Tiny House Village, volunteer Brooke Broad knows the group’s efforts to provide new housing for the recently homeless comes with a stigma.

“I think it’s really easy to fear homeless people or forget they are people,” said Broad.

“Having sites like this helps improve security in the area. 24/7 eyes. People doing security shifts,” said Gerber.

That’s why Broad supports moving people from the Nickelsville Ballard Encampment to her neighborhood.

“I’m really excited to have one of these in my neighborhood to be able to support people who are searching for housing,” said Broad.