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Shelter For Native People In Seattle Set To Close As U.S. Hits Highest Rate Of Homelessness Ever

The shelter for homeless people is about to close due to an increase in homelessness than the previous year.

December 17, 2023

According to the new data released by the federal government this week, U.S. homelessness crisis is at a record high. Indigenous people among Americans have experienced homelessness in previous years.

Chief Seattle Club members serving the indigenous people in Seattle are aware of what the homeless people in their community are against. A permit was granted by the transit authority King County Metro to turn a parking lot into Eagle Village in 2019 but is about to expire.

At present, everyone is in fear that the shelter residents will once again be rendered homeless. Chief Seattle club Executive Director Derrick Belgarde said, “They’re trying to entice people off of reservations into urban settings for a chance at prosperity, but it just ends up being a poverty trap”.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released its annual homelessness assessment report on Friday and revealed that homelessness is at its highest reported level. The number of homeless people increased by 12% between 2022 and 2023.

According to HUD, indigenous people are overrepresented in the data. The largest increase in homelessness was among indigenous people.

In King County, which includes Seattle, the homelessness situation is particularly concerning. Anne Martens, Senior Director of Communications at the King County Regional Homelessness Authority, points out that between 9% and 15% of the homeless population in the county identifies as Native or Indigenous, even though they make up only 1% of the total population demographically.

Anne Martens said, “There is a clear need to increase capacity and culturally-relevant services for Native/Indigenous people experiencing homelessness — that depends on funding, and on finding locations that will welcome shelter, housing, and supportive services”.

In King County, there are only 84 shelter beds out of 5,369 that are culturally specific to Native people, according to Anne Martens. These culturally specific shelters are crucial due to the mistrust many Indigenous people have in non-Native systems, as explained by Belgarde.

Chief Seattle Club specializes in addressing the high number of single adults experiencing homelessness in indigenous communities due to substance abuse and mental illness. The club manages permanent supportive housing units and shelters such as Raven Village including 22 tiny homes and Eagle Village housing 35 people at a time.

Now, Eagle Village is about to close in March 2024.

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The content provided in this article draws inspiration and includes quotes from various reputable sources, including news articles, government data, and interviews. Affordable Housing 411 strives to ensure accuracy and credibility, but the information presented may be based on some external sources. We encourage readers to refer to the referenced materials for more in-depth insights and verification.

Kottke Joe. “Seattle shelter for Native people set to close as U.S. hits highest reported level of homelessness”. NBC News, December 17, 2023,
Seattle shelter for Native people set to close as U.S. hits highest reported level of homelessness (nbcnews.com)

Last Updated: September 20, 2021