During the flu pandemic of 1918, citizens had to mask up.
During the Flu Pandemic of 1918, Seattle had to mask up.

You may know that Compass Housing Alliance began in 1920 on the heels of the Spanish Flu pandemic which claimed the lives of over 1,500 people in Seattle. The effects of a pandemic on a community are all too familiar nowadays. As Seattle suffered back then, our first services were formed to help strengthen the community.

November 10, 2020 marks our Centennial Anniversary, a notable milestone that many service organizations never get to experience. As we look forward into our future and consider how we can continue adapting to provide the essential services we are known for, we also want to acknowledge where we have come from.

The Lutheran Mission rest and reading room was established at 75 Yesler Way in downtown Seattle to serve men working in the Puget Sound’s early logging and maritime industries. While the program provided a warm safe place to find a meal and stave off loneliness, it was also a place of belonging. Whenever neighbors get together, new relationships form and the community grows stronger.

We have expanded our services significantly over the past 100 years, but the main tenet of our mission is the same: to provide a safe, welcoming place for people in need.

As we celebrate our Centennial throughout 2020 and 2021, we’ll share even more interesting memories and facts about Compass’ history. If you have memories to share, please contact us at info@compasshousingalliance.org.

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