Jan & Peter’s Place is an enhanced shelter in Rainier Valley. It is close to stores, shopping, mass transit, and other services, but it is also quiet, out of the way, and calm.
“This place is like my baby,” Charlene, the program manager said. “We built this program from the ground up when we moved here from another location. We wanted to create firstly, a place of calm and peace. We wanted to be a place where people can get what they need to move forward.”
The shelter is for people who identify as women and has been in its new location for a little over a year and a half. It used to be called Hammond House and was located in North Seattle. When you walk in, the noise from outside is shut off and a peaceful quiet welcomes you. The beds are patterned to allow for social distancing and it is sort of a maze to work your way through the sleeping area.
Jan & Peter’s Place is open 24/7 and provides additional services more than just a place to stay.
“We want our guests to find permanent housing,” Charlene said. “We help them overcome the specific barriers they might have on a case by case basis. We look at our guests holistically. Some need extra support with counseling, some need help getting access to treatment, others just need a safe place to sort of bunker up and reset. But they make the changes. We just give them the opportunities to do so.”
Charlene and her team focus on creating a space that treats every guest equally. There are honest conversations, understanding, and high expectations.
“People can succeed if you expect them to,” she said. “Sometimes they just need someone to believe in them.”