King County is pushing its timeline for opening a modular homeless shelter in Interbay from late summer to sometime this fall.

King County Executive Dow Constantine in August 2018 announced three modular housing pilot projects planned to provide more options for temporary shelter. The Interbay shelter will include nine dormitory-style structures that can house up to 72 people experiencing homelessness on a parking lot at 531 Elliott Ave. W.

Mark Ellerbrook, regional housing and community development manager for King County’s Department of Community and Human Services, tells Queen Anne News that plans to open the shelter, which was supposed to be in late summer, have changed to fall due to it taking longer to acquire needed permitting from the City of Seattle. He noted the project is outside the normal scope of permits requested, and that means various issues to work through.

“I think that’s where we’re at. The city remains fully supportive of the project,” Ellerbrook said. “The buildings themselves are actually coming off the assembly line presently in Marysville.”

Washington Labor & Industries has approved the structures, which will remain in Marysville until site work can be completed in Interbay, which can’t start until permits are issued by the city, Ellerbrook said.

“It’s fall at this point is when we will be opening the facility,” he said.

Ellerbrook expects a Good Neighbor Agreement to likely be signed with the Uptown Alliance by the end of the month.

Good Neighbor Agreements are meant to be between the county, service provider and a community sponsor, and are used to ensure the county and provider maintain communications about shelter operations and are responsive to ongoing needs or concerns about a project.

Catholic Community Services will operate the Interbay site and refer people experiencing homelessness to the shelter. Ellerbrook said the Uptown Alliance was concerned about people lining up outside to gain entry to the shelter, but that won’t happen with the referral process.

“I expect that Catholic Community Services will begin filling out the folks to be referred prior to opening,” he said. “I think we want the space to be occupied as soon as we can.”

The target population is people with behavioral health problems and those exiting homelessness, and will be used by singles, couples and people with pets.

There will be a full kitchen facility, dining area, bathroom facilities, laundry and case management offices. People will be transitioned into more permanent or supportive housing through the county’s Coordinated Entry for All system.