Early in April, we welcomed our partners from the King County Veterans Program, local media, and interested neighbors to the grand opening of Blaine Veterans Center. It is the first 24/7 enhanced emergency shelter in King County focused only on Veterans. It will provide on-site services and support to 36 Veterans experiencing homelessness in King County.

Compass Housing Alliance Program Manager Besert Asefa, pictured above, gave a small tour of the facility answering questions from the visitors.

Besert explained, “We are trauma-informed here. We think about our policies and practices with that lens in everything we do. We have worked with Veterans, and we have been in constant communication with our other two Veterans programs, Shoreline Veterans Center and Renton Veterans Center. We have the expertise!”

From left to right: King County Executive Dow Constantine, Compass Housing Alliance President Michael Bailey, Department of Community and Human Services Adult Services Division Director Leon Richardson, King County Councilmember Jorge Barón, and Charlene Mitchell Compass Housing Alliance Director of Emergency Services.

“This new all-veteran shelter provides a safe space and support services to help veterans get on a path to stable housing,” said Dow Constantine. “With the opening of the Blaine Veterans Center, King County and Compass Housing Alliance are creating a critical resource to serve those who have served our nation.” 

“As a long-time resident of Queen Anne, I am proud to welcome the Blaine Veterans Center, the first all-Veteran 24/7 enhanced shelter in King County, as my neighbor,” said King County Councilmember Jorge Barón. “More shelter and housing are needed across King County to support our neighbors experiencing homelessness transition to stable housing. The Blaine Veterans Center will be a great resource to Veterans, supporting them as they have given so much to their communities.” 

Compass Housing Alliance President Michael Bailey then spoke from the podium.

“The transformation of the Blaine Center into the Blaine Veterans Center is far more than a mere name change; it symbolizes our commitment to honoring the service of our nation’s heroes,” he said. “Through a strategic partnership with King County Department of Community and Human Services, Compass Housing Alliance has transcended the concept of a traditional shelter and instead created a supportive community space where Veterans can find acceptance, understanding, and the wrap-around support needed to support their transition back to stable housing.” 

Charlene Mitchell, Compass Housing Alliance Director of Emergency Services, was interviewed by FOX 13. You can read that full story here.

“My time here at Blaine Veterans Center has been an amazing experience,” said a current Blaine Veterans Center guest. “At a time when so much of my life is uncertain, and I’m not sure if anyone cares, I know the Compass staff care, giving me peace of mind and hope.” 

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