The story of Compass Housing Alliance began in 1920, when a remarkable couple from Sweden, the Rev. Otto and Mrs. Alva Karlstrom, founded the Lutheran Sailors and Loggers Mission in Pioneer Square. The name has changed, but the spirit of the mission—to provide a welcoming space for people in need—has been with us for nearly a century.

Today, we are a leading provider and developer of essential services and affordable housing for men, women, veterans, and families who are low-income or experiencing homelessness in the Puget Sound region. Our portfolio includes day services, emergency shelters, and affordable housing at 19 locations. Through partnerships with local congregations, governments, and service providers, we offer creative programming that meets the needs of a changing community. We hope you’ll join us in this important work. Because safe, caring communities begin with caring people.

Our Lutheran Roots

Compass was founded by a Lutheran pastor and has deep roots in the Lutheran faith community. Compass honors those roots by showing love and caring through acts of service to anyone in need, regardless of their own religion. Compass continues to host a Lutheran congregation, the Church of Steadfast Love, at its main shelter building in Pioneer Square. This congregation is open to any adult, including those whom Compass serves.

However, Compass does not require or promote participation in any religious activity as part of its programs. We deeply value diversity in all forms and employ and provide services to people of all backgrounds. Compass does not treat anyone differently based on their religion, age, ancestry, color, disability, marital status, national origin, parental/family status, race, sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

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