Compass Housing Alliance will be making a series of positive changes to our 24/7 enhanced emergency shelter programs over the next several months.

Because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, Compass is taking immediate steps to create a healthier and safer environment in the shelters it operates.

To achieve this, each property will require new guest sleeping accommodations that separate each guest. In most cases, this will be done by constructing individual sleeping spaces separated by 6’ solid, washable, vertical walls. These sleeping spaces will also include space for storing the occupant’s belongings. At the same time, we will upgrade showers and restrooms to allow for ease in the sanitation of these spaces. The new accommodations require a new design of the shelters along with a new management model for the operators.

Compass Housing Alliance has applied for expedited funding from the Washington State Department of Commerce COVID response grant to the City of Seattle. We will see to it that this project is completed efficiently and swiftly.  

Compass operates three permanent 24/7 enhanced shelters and one transitional housing program that must all become COVID compliant. At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, Compass partnered with the city to de-intensify our shelters by opening a temporary shelter at the Miller Community Center. All Compass’ guests are currently in de-intensified spaces, but with the mandate for new COVID-compliant spaces, a permanent solution is required.  

As part of this process, we will be moving our Compass at First Presbyterian (CFP) shelter to our Compass Center building in Pioneer Square. The CFP shelter’s lease in that building is up at the end of the year. We can accommodate the entire shelter in the Pioneer Square building with COVID-compliant upgrades to the space.  

Our other two 24/7 enhanced emergency shelters, Blaine Center and Jan & Peter’s Place, will also undergo construction improvements to become permanently de-intensified.  In addition, there will also be a series of construction improvements made to our Pioneer Square Men’s Program (transitional housing) to further ensure the safety of that program. 

We believe that these changes will bring numerous benefits to Compass’ guests.  

  • We won’t have to close our CFP shelter when the lease ends. We are very relieved that we’ll be able to keep all the CFP beds open to those who need shelter.   
  • We will not have to make any staff layoffs, which is especially good given the current economic concerns caused by the pandemic. 
  • All our shelter guests will get to stay in Compass shelters that are socially distanced with upgraded sanitation and privacy.   
  • We will be able to save a vast majority of the shelter beds Compass currently operates. There will, however, be a net loss in shelter beds which we estimate to be approximately 13 beds. Through attrition, we will be able to reduce beds without having to exit guests from shelters. 

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