File Photo
A 20-person homeless shelter will be moving into the vacant Cavalry Lutheran Church building May 30.

SHARE shelter coming to Ballard

A controversial 20-person homeless shelter will be moving into the vacant Calvary Lutheran Church building for one year starting May 30.

Members of Our Redeemer's Lutheran Church in Ballard voted May 7 to allow the shelter to move into the building at 7002 23rd Ave. N.W., according to a May 10 press release from Our Redeemer.

There will be a meeting at 7 p.m., May 20 at the Calvary Lutheran building to answer questions from the community.

According to the press release, the shelter will be open from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. No one will be allowed to enter the shelter after 10 p.m., and residents are prohibited from being in the immediate neighborhood of the shelter during hours it is closed.

Our Redeemer announced the decision to move the shelter into Calvary Lutheran from West Seattle in February to decidedly mixed reactions.

Some concerned neighbors requested that SHARE run background checks on its residents. Our Redeemer brought that request to SHARE, but the organization refused.

According to the Seattle Police Department's Southwest Precinct, there have been no problems with the shelter during its time in West Seattle.

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To recap-SHARE refused to

To recap-SHARE refused to run checks in this community and at this location, yet they run outstanding warrant AND sex offender checks for their Tent City 4 locations on the Eastside and have been since 2004.

The checks are run for free by the King County Sheriff's Office, yet SHARE representatives stood before this community and said they couldn't run them because of the cost involved.

Here is the link to the current permit for SHARE's Tent City 4 that was issued by Redmond. Note: warrant/sex offender checks are included in the permit.

SHARE continues to lie and contradict themselves when they claim running checks here would be a "violation" of their rights, yet they run them at their Tent City 4.

I'm no lawyer, but maybe someone who is can answer whether or not SHARE has set a legal precedent by running the warrant/sex offender checks at their Tent City 4?

Screening for shelter residents

SHARE does run KCSO checks at Tent City 4 but do not, as far as I know, run them for any of their indoor shelters.

Hobo Utopia: Danger

This is bad news because Ballard is overrun with homeless folks already. "Spare change? Gotta cigarette?" There's no monitoring of these people by the church. The church ignores the neighbors to bring a revolving cast of characters to a family neighborhood. Bad move.

Fear didn't win

It is a huge mistake to equate men who agree to go through a screening process and who agree to be a part of a committed group that stays at Calvary with the mentally ill homeless who wander Ballard neighborhood streets during the day. All the fear and criticism overlooks the fact that these men WILL NOT BE AROUND DURING THE DAY - they have jobs! If we cannot support the homeless who are trying to be responsible and better themselves, how can we ever hope to help those in the most need - those wandering our streets?


I have been homeless at several points in my life. Contrary to popular belief, most homeless did not become so out of choice and not because they are lazy, stupid, or immoral. Many homeless people are victims of abuse in the form of neglect and abandonment by their parents or other caregivers. Some of them are simply victims of life’s tragedies, such as hurricanes, fires, or other catastrophes from which they simply don’t have the resources to recover. I invite you to my blog devoted to raising awareness on homelessness: There you will find an article I wrote on homelessness and pictures I have taken of homeless people. I always give them a dollar or two for the privilege of photographing them. I am often surprised by their cheerfulness and sense of pride. Often, they will show themselves to have some kind of talent. There is a fine line between genius and insanity.