Long-awaited homeless shelter in Seattle expected to open in fall

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SEATTLE -- A 100-bed shelter is expected to open in the old residency building across from Seattle's Harborview Medical Center in October, two years after King County officials allocated funding for it.

The Seattle Times reports the shelter initially will operate on the first floor of Harborview Hall, which has been vacant for close to a decade.

But the pace to open the shelter in the midst of the homelessness crisis has frustrated some city and county councilmembers.

Seattle and King County declared states of emergency for homelessness in November 2015, and the County Council identified Harborview Hall a year later when it inventoried properties to place shelters.

The King County executive's chief of staff, Rachel Smith, says the project has been pushed back because of the challenges of taking an uninhabited building with code-compliance issues and converting it into livable space.

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