A photo of a bright green building with the words James W Ray Orion Center written on it.
The Orion Center, which offers overnight shelter to young adults 18-24, has been in operation in Downtown Seattle since 1983. (Credit: HistoryLink)

With evening temperatures expected to descend into the 20s during the next few days, King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA) is working in coordination with partners to open overnight severe weather shelters in Seattle and across the county. Daytime warming shelters will also be available in certain locations; however, in general, space and resources will be limited.

Erica C. Barnett of Publicola wrote about how the cold snap has put a spotlight on challenges the City of Seattle will face as it strives to “drastically reduce unsheltered homelessness” as part of its newly declared Partnership for Zero public-private collaboration announced by Mayor Bruce Harrell just last week.

King County estimates that 40,800 people experienced homelessness in King County during 2020, the most recent year for which reporting is available.

(Credit: King County Regional Homelessness Authority)

For people of in need of shelter now, KCRHA has created a blog post in which the most up-to-date information related to shelter openings will be available. A reference list with contact information provided by KCRHA is also included below. For transportation, King County Metro and Sound Transit have announced they will be running normal operations during this time.

Families with children are advised to contact King County Emergency Family Shelter intake line at 206-245-1026.

Overnight Severe Weather Shelters

Seattle

  • Seattle City Hall – Single Adults (any gender): Enter on 5th Ave between James & Cherry St., open 7:00 PM – 6:30 AM starting Tuesday, Feb. 22 through the morning of Saturday, Feb. 26. Dinner will be provided. Space available for 96 people, operated by The Salvation Army.
  • Downtown – Young Adults (ages 18-24): Orion Shelter, 1828 Yale Ave., Seattle, open 7:30 PM – 8:00 AM, contact 206-622-5555 or richard.benitez@youthcare.org
  • South Seattle – Young Adults (ages 18-24): South Seattle Shelter in Rainier Beach, 9416 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle, open 24 hours, breakfast at 9:00-10:00 AM, lunch at 1:00-2:00 PM, dinner at 6:00-7:00 PM, contact 206-331-2363 and 206-499-2974

North King County

  • Shoreline – Single Adults & Couples: St. Dunstan’s Church serving as Shoreline Emergency Shelter, 722 N 145th St, Shoreline, off Aurora, 8:30 PM – 7:30 AM

South King County

  • Auburn: Sundown Shelter, 2806 Auburn Way N., Auburn, open 9:00 PM – 7:00 AM starting Tuesday Feb. 22, contact Debbie Christian, 253-833-8925, debbiec@theauburnfoodbank.org
  • Auburn – Young Adults (ages 18-24): Arcadia Young Adult Shelter, 932 Auburn Way S., Auburn, open overnight 9:00 PM – 8:00 AM, daytime drop-in at 2:30 PM – 6:00 PM weekdays, contact 253-740-7198
  • Burien: Highline United Methodist Church, 13015 1st. Ave. S., Burien, open 7:00 PM – 9:00 AM starting Monday Feb. 21, meal in the evening , contact Jenny Partch (206)241-5520, shelter.highlineumc@gmail.com, or Facebook BurienSWS
  • Renton: Old Chamber of Commerce building, 300 Rainier Ave. N., Renton, open 8:00 PM – 7:00 AM starting Tuesday Feb. 22 through Thursday Feb. 24, some parking available for vehicle residents, breakfast available until 10:00 AM, contact Fenice Fregoso, 206-657-0480, fenice@reachrenton.org
  • South Seattle – Young Adults (ages 18-24): South Seattle Shelter in Rainier Beach, 9416 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle, open 24 hours, breakfast at 9:00-10:00 AM, lunch at 1:00-2:00 PM, dinner at 6:00-7:00 PM, contact 206-331-2363 and 206-499-2974

East King County

Daytime Warming

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Natalie Bicknell Argerious (she/her) is Managing Editor at The Urbanist. A passionate urban explorer since childhood, she loves learning how to make cities more inclusive, vibrant, and environmentally resilient. You can often find her wandering around Seattle's Central District and Capitol Hill with her dogs and cat. Email her at natalie [at] theurbanist [dot] org.