Delridge homeless-housing proposal: New DESC webpage

A note for those tracking Downtown Emergency Service Center‘s proposal to build a 75-unit apartment building in the 5400 block of Delridge Way for homeless people dealing with mental illness and other challenges such as substance abuse: Three weeks after DESC started contacting neighborhood leaders about the plan, it finally has a page on their website. (We have been checking for one, but nothing’s been there; a Google Alert just brought this up overnight, so it’s new.) It includes an overview of the project, plus links to the neighborhood letter/flyer circulated before last Monday’s Delridge Library meeting and the information sheet circulated at the meeting, as well as the images that were displayed on easels at the meeting, including a possible configuration for the building (shown above), and news-coverage links (so far, just us). DESC has not announced any additional community meetings but it would seem a sure bet to be on the next North Delridge Neighborhood Council agenda, 6:30 pm Monday, July 11th, location TBA.

27 Replies to "Delridge homeless-housing proposal: New DESC webpage"

  • 4thGenWestSide July 2, 2011 (1:06 pm)

    Dear Delridge,

    After all of the years of hard work building up your community, improving the homes, property values and general vibe, you are dealt this tragic blow. You will see it. You will feel it. We all should feel empathetic for people with needs like this. But why does this group, who is made up of many “who’s who” of the City of Seattle (Check out their board of directors and supporters on their web site) always find in necessary to shove these places in areas where they don’t live? Stick them in the struggling parts of the city where the neighborhood will be less likely to fight it when they see a shiny new building. Ohh, pretty.

    Magnolia? Lauralhurst? Madison Park? Don’t think so.

    Delridge, if you are as active and proud of your neighborhood as you have the past 20 plus years, now is the time to voice your concern.

    Will it work? Probably not. But at least when you see the addicts and metal patients walking down the street, by your house, you can tell your kids you tried.

    Just a thought.

  • dsa July 2, 2011 (2:34 pm)

    United, even loosely this can be stopped at this location.

  • More WS Family July 2, 2011 (3:33 pm)

    I say it’s high time to locate one of these places in a rich neighborhood — one with houses all over a million bucks a pop. The have-nots like us — those who live in apartments or modest, small, houses have plenty of fine things like this among us. 4thGenWestSide is absolutely right! It’s time we share the wealth with those deserving of a perspective change.

  • TMQ July 2, 2011 (7:55 pm)

    I don’t question DESC’s mission, but I do question the strategy. Harborview, Sound Mental Health, other area hospitals, King County Public Health, free ride zone on Metro, pharmacies, DSHS–it’s all downtown. Delridge? Not so much. Interbay, SoDo, even the U district has better tangible benefits geographically for a population in need of support. I can’t think of a more sparsely supported location in the city for this group of Seattleites. My guess is the property was cheap. That does not make it wise.

  • Jasperblu July 2, 2011 (9:28 pm)

    Well said @4thGenWestSide, very well said.

  • Michael July 3, 2011 (1:43 pm)

    We need to unite, that much is clear.
    Make no mistake, DESC’s mission to “end homelessness” is admirable.
    DESC’s tactics of steamrolling an already at-risk neighborhood and its policies favoring addicts and alcoholics, while not staffing appropriately to treat or police, are clearly unacceptable.
    I question whether DESC is even an appropriate caretaker for these homeless who are so in need of real care.
    Other neighborhoods are seeing the negative effects of DESC’s policies, including increased crime and street drug use.
    This should be fought on the permitting front, the funding front (no funding, no building) and any other front that may come up.

  • Mickymse July 4, 2011 (5:27 pm)

    I don’t think DESC is avoiding Magnolia or Laurelhurst or other areas because there’s mythical rich people who said no…. Just like anyone else moving to Delridge because we’re affordable and growing neighborhood, DESC is looking for affordable land it can pruchase in neighborhoods where new development and zoning will allow them to build.

  • Mike July 4, 2011 (7:01 pm)

    I have a suggestion there is some land around the 7500 block of Delridge that could be developed and it closer to shopping and its also close to busing. Oh! and across the street from the West Seattle Precint.

  • bob dewey July 5, 2011 (12:09 am)

    Bad idea. If you feel the police take to long to help you then this will make it ten times worse. They will be there instead of out on the street patroling remember every legitimate call requires paperwork.

  • Been There July 5, 2011 (10:21 am)

    @ Mickymse-July 4, 11 5:27 pm.
    You are wrong. Magnolia filed and won a lawsuit to prevent basic housing to the formerly homeless at Fort Lawton in Discovery Park. Basic housing meaning families and individuals that do not have the chronic issues that the individuals that Downtown Emergency Services Center provides housing for :

    Telling quote from Magnolia resident from the Seattle Times: “We’re the ones who live here, and we want to have a nice, safe neighborhood to live in,” Donald Raz, a King County deputy prosecutor and Magnolia resident, said later.

    There are PLENTY of similarly zoned and reasonably priced parcels around all around the city like the Delridge land that the Downtown Emergency Services Center is attempting to force their project upon. The commercial property market has collapsed, some would say even worse than the residential market. The cheap “land values” argument is bogus.

  • Bam July 7, 2011 (1:24 pm)

    Whether you like it or not, constructing facilities such as these should be put in neighborhoods like Delridge. Why? Because they will serve the intended users better than a so called “rich neighborhood.” Where are the people located that need the help and assistance a facility like this can provide? Delridge..DUH!

    The Delridge area and specifically the so called community leaders are some of the biggest NIMBY’s in the entire City of Seattle. This is a classic example of gentrification of a neighborhood by the so called community leaders. Delridge will never be Magnolia people. Nor should it. Deal with it.

  • Brandon Node July 8, 2011 (10:19 am)

    It seems like you have some personal agenda against Delridge and the people who live there. Not sure what it is or why you would hold such a strong grudge against them and the community activists who live there. Regardless, it is apparent have compassion for those in need and this is commendable, but you animosity for residences of Delridge appears to have jaded your objectiveness.

    It is ironic, that you refer to the residence of Delridge as “NIMBY’s”, because your statement exacerbates your personal Nimbyism and it is done with blatant classism.

    The fact of the matter is, if Delridge had the infrastructure to affectively support the proposed DESC facility and clientele they serve, myself and many other opposed to this site, would wholeheartedly support this facility. Unfortunately, at this point in time, Delridge does not have the essential services these individuals need to thrive.

  • Bam July 8, 2011 (5:27 pm)

    Mr. Node,

    I love the Delridge area and I have no animosity towards the residents of Delridge whatsoever. I do however have firsthand experience in dealing with both the community residents and community “leaders” and when we spoke to community residents directly, we were warmly received by the them vs. being ambushed with a hostile and judgmental attitude by the NDNC in a meeting in which we were then extorted by the NDNC with requests of “opening our books to then” demanding to know “how much money were we going to give the community” if we moved our business into the area. I have heard of similar complaints from other business’ in the area about donations from said business’ not being good enough quality or of sufficient amount. One NDNC council member even stated they would warn any business owner from moving into a particular commercial space effectively attempting to ensure the prolonged vacancy of said space indefinitely. Ensuring increased vacancy rates of commercial spaces is not the way to help any neighborhood.

    I applaud people for getting involved in their community and I still love the Delridge area but it’s my belief there are a number of good minded community leaders with their heads stuck up their rear ends and they are convinced it smells like roses. They want business’ and facilities to move in that THEY approve of. That being said, if there is such a dearth of facilities and services the neighborhood needs, why aren’t the leaders of the Delridge neighborhood purchasing the properties available in Delridge and providing these services themselves in an actual commercial space within the neighborhood they purport to represent. Moving a business into the Delridge area is more like moving into and getting approved by a co-op board than starting a business in any normal city.

    In regards to my own NIMBYism, you couldn’t be further from the truth. I am a hardcore libertarian and I don’t tell people what they can and can’t do with their own property and as such, I am the furthest thing from a NIMBY. In regards to my “classicism” my point is that based exclusively on socio-economics the facility in question can serve a neighborhood like Delridge vs. Magnolia much better. If you don’t think that fine, but I don’t think you have a realistic point of view what diversity of neighboring communities really is or means.
    If the Delridge community continues along the path it is going, 1 of 2 things is likely to occur:
    1. Once the economy turns, and re-development continues to occur, the neighborhood will become to expensive and the affordability to live in or to purchase property will be gone effectively driving out the majority of the current Delridge population. IE: gentrification of the neighborhood will occur…or
    2. The current trend of the neighborhood leadership “vetting” business’ and the like will continue to push business’ to look elsewhere effectively stagnating the area resulting in Delridge never achieving it’s full potential.

  • Brandon Node July 11, 2011 (1:37 am)

    Kind of ironic that you, a “hardcore libertarian”, supports the building of a homeless shelter in Delridge (let alone in any neighborhood) that is or will be funded by city, state and/or federal money.

    In regards to your comment, “the facility in question can serve a neighborhood like Delridge vs. Magnolia much better”. This is completely nonsensical. The proposed DESC building will serve the homeless with mental illness and drug/alcohol addiction that will be relocated from downtown to Delridge. And mental illness and drug/alcohol addiction does not discriminate based on socio-economic standing.

    As for Magnolia, it is a nice place to drive through when going to Discovery Park.

  • Been There July 11, 2011 (10:24 am)

    Funny how many of the exisiting businesses in North Delridge are cooperating and working with the NDNC on neighborhood issues.

    Your business proposal and the location YOU chose with the most irresponsible and code violating commercial property owner in North Delridge was doomed from the start. You just didn’t want to hear it, and to whine about it now is pretty telling.

    Oh yes, when you actually live in Delridge, then you can pipe up about all your knowledge on what is going on here or its history.

  • Bam July 11, 2011 (5:30 pm)

    Mr. Node,

    As a libertarian I support property rights including the fundamental right of all individuals, businesses and entities…even that of the government. So with that said, whoever owns the property should be able to do with said property whatever they so choose to do.

    The primary requirement for the facility will be homeless people with mental illness and drug addiction. While I agree mental illness and drug addiction are not based on socio-economic status, homelessness is and you conveniently left that portion of the facility out of your last comment which states, “And mental illness and drug/alcohol addiction does not discriminate based on socio-economic standing.”

    I am quite certain there are drug addicts and mentally ill individuals in Magnolia, however; if you think homeless is a problem for Maganolia, then I believe you are the one being nonsensical. The same cannot be said of Delridge, so again between Magnolia and Delridge the proposed facility can better serve Delridge.

  • Bam July 11, 2011 (6:04 pm)

    Been There,

    Since you seem to know the property in question and nature of our business, you obviously were at the meeting I mentioned and you are a member of the NDNC. Regardless of how you feel about the location, the owner, or our business I notice you didn’t nor can you deny the facts that I stated in my post. I’m not whining, I’m stating the facts as they happened.

    You can “dislike” a business, a business owner or whatever or whomever you choose, but you do not have the right to choose what business’ open, close or even the right to see their books or extort them for cash and donations. You, nor anyone on the NDNC was made privy to the purchase agreement the current owner made with the original owner, nor the provisions that were in the purchase agreement, so perhaps neither you or NDNC should “whine” about contracts and agreements they no nothing about. Again, if you or the NDNC had such a problem with the building, why didn’t any one of you step up and purchase the property yourself? The fact that you can only complain and point to the history of the property instead of the current progress on the site, and to even try to warn any businesses from moving into the commercial space in question is what is telling about you and the NDNC.

    What’s telling about us, is that without ANY requirement from the city or any other jurisdictional requirement is that WE requested the meeting with the NDNC to discuss the area and our business, WE were open and honest what we were considering, WE went out and spoke to the community directly, WE went and spoke with the business owners around the area directly, and in the end WE didn’t move into the space even though we could have and we still could if we wanted to based on how the City of Seattle is going to move forward with our particular business model.

    I applaud every business cooperating and working to improve the community with or without the NDNC as any responsible business owner should, but what we find funny is how many of the business owners were told their donations and assistance were not sufficient enough at times. I don’t know about you, but we were raised to not take any gift or donation for granted, especially in the current difficult economic times.

    In regards to “piping up” about Delridge, I didn’t realize that checking one’s 1st Amendment rights ended when you start a business in or enter or exit Delridge. Is that part of the “Delridge Business Co-Op” interview to be approved to open one’s business in Delridge? I’m sure the City of Seattle and Washington State Business Licensing will be interested to learn of the new requirements to open a business in Delridge.

    Also, perhaps you didn’t hear us (surprise), as we stated to the NDNC, both directors of our business live in West Seattle and one DOES live in Delridge. Perhaps your judgmental, derisive and hypocritical attitude didn’t just close your mind, but it also obviously closed your ears as you obviously weren’t listening or hearing us, which speak volumes about you.

  • Been There July 11, 2011 (11:33 pm)

    Word spreads quickly around this part of Delridge so it was no secret that you had plans to open a marijuana shop in the old Delridge vacuum repair and rip-off store. Bad place to open up a “business” like you want to do. Try Magnolia:)

  • Brandon Node July 12, 2011 (12:17 pm)

    So you are a “hardcore libertarian”, but you support the government spending money on a homeless shelter. I must have skipped that section when reading the “hardcore libertarian” manual.

    As for your belief a property owners “should be able to do with said property whatever they so choose to do”, this is not a belief that is widely supported in Seattle. While I understand the logic behind this belief, I believe it is greatly flawed. Just out of curiosity, hypothetically, if you had your dream house in Magnolia with an expansive view of the Sound and Olympic Mountains, you would not take issue and raise grievance if a developer decided to build a coal power plant that blocked your view?

    In regards to where homeless people live in Seattle, I intentionally left it out because I do not have data to support my statement. If you have this data, please share it, I would be interested in seeing it. If you don’t have data to support your statement, then you are just speculating and that does not have any value. Regardless, this is a moot point because DESC will not be serving the homeless pollution of Delridge; they will be relocating the homeless population in Downtown to Delridge.

    It has been amusing discussing this issue with you, but it is evident you unable to accept the facts. You keep reiterating an erroneous fact that this facility will serve the residence of Delridge better than Magnolia, when according to DESC they will be relocating homeless from downtown to Delridge. It does not make it true if you repeat it over and over and over again. In the coming weeks and months the Delridge community will have further discussions about this project; you should attend and offer your wisdom in support of the DESC Facility.

  • Bam July 12, 2011 (4:58 pm)

    Been There,

    We never intended our business to be a secret as we have been forthright, open, and honest with all parties beforehand, during and after all discussions. In reality, the NDNC was the 4th or 5th party we notified within the area so the reason it was no secret was from our own openness, directness and diligence to work with the City of Seattle and the area in we choose to operate.

    I appreciate the cheekiness of your final statement about Magnolia and even the smile. I will take as how I hope it was…and attempt to lighten the overall tone our 2 sides have taken with one another and signed with a smile. If so…I am willing to extend the olive branch also by stating that while I don’t necessarily agree with how the NDNC operates or views some issues in SOME circumstance, overall as a whole I do appreciate what the NDNC does for the Delridge area.

  • Bam July 12, 2011 (5:04 pm)

    Mr. Node,

    Like all political ideologies there are numerous theories and varying degrees of belief within the ideology in question. In short, per Wikipedia (

    “Libertarian schools of thought differ over the degree to which the state should be reduced, with minarchists advocating reduction to only state protection from aggression, theft, breach of contract, and fraud. Some libertarians go further, such as by supporting minimal public assistance for the poor.[2] Then there are anarchists, who advocate complete elimination of the state. Additionally, some schools are supportive of private property rights in the ownership of unappropriated land and natural resources while others reject such private ownership and often support common ownership instead.[3][4][5] Another distinction can be made among libertarians who support private ownership and co-operative ownership of the means of production; the former generally supporting a capitalist economy, the latter a libertarian socialist economic system.”

    In my previous post, for the sake of brevity I was trying to expand on a general theme of my particular core fundamental belief of libertarianism and property rights. The project in which you describe would not feasible from a zoning standpoint which in many cases (not all) I can support the majority of current zoning laws. Zoning laws were originally enacted to increase public safety and as such they evolved to what we have today. If the project in which you describe was zoned in a manner that did allow for a single family residential project and a coal production facility to be legally constructed and operated in a manner that complied with current zoning laws, then I would have no recourse nor would I attempt to stop the property owner from utilizing their property as they see fit. I have seen this a few times here in West Seattle. My neighbors complain incessantly about the steel mill, the noise that is generated, and smoke, steam, and overall impact to our views. All of those elements impact my view and experience at my home dramatically however I have no problems with their operations.

    By leaving the homeless part out of your position I believe you are disregarding the primary reason the facility even exists as not all mentally ill, drug addicts are homeless. In regards to who the facility will serve, I have not been involved with the programming efforts of the facility at all so I do not know who the entire facility will support. My entire point is that a facility such as the one proposed can better serve a neighborhood that does have a higher homeless percentage. Can I point to statistics…yes ( Have fun digging through the information. But on the surface, let’s be real, if you had $1,000 riding on it, which neighborhood would you bet had a higher homeless population….Delridge or Magnolia?

  • I heart Delridge July 12, 2011 (9:59 pm)

    Bam, DESC made it clear they will not house homeless people already in Delridge or surrounding areas. Their mission is to relocate homeless from downtown (Pioneer Square and Belltown specifically, where it will benefit business and tourism) and put them in neighborhoods (so far all 8 of which have been lower income). I heard nothing from DESC about providing housing, food or services to homeless, mentally ill or low income people already in Delridge–only to their existing downtown clients.

  • Brandon Node July 13, 2011 (3:12 pm)

    You classified yourself as a “hardcore libertarian”, not me. In saying that, I assumed your beliefs in libertarianism were to the degree of (e.g.) an orthodox Catholic’s belief in Catholicism; that is what “hardcore” means ( I guess I should have not made that assumption. With this being said, I feel it is fair to say you are not a “hardcore libertarian”, instead a selective libertarian integrated with other ideologies. Personally, I feel people should select a combination of ideologies that best represents them. This is what I do.

    In regards to your support of this facility, it is based on a fallacy. The facility DESC is proposed will not serve the homeless population in Delridge instead the clients they serve will relocate the homeless from downtown to Delridge. This information is undisputable and has been stated by DESC. Therefore, the homeless population of Delridge is irrelevant and the foundation of your support for the proposed DESC facility is based on this erroneous statement.

    If you continue to support the proposed DESC facility in Delridge, using facts verses speculation or untruths, then so be it. But when you make-up information/facts to support your position, your position holds no value. Until you use fact to support your position, it is pointless engaging with you. And as I said previously, I hope you attend future DESC meetings to offer your opinions about their proposed Delridge facility.

    Brandon Node

  • Wham Bam Thank You Maam! July 13, 2011 (7:47 pm)

    Bam is grinding an axe. Outta’ the gate, his first posting came off as someone who doesn’t like neighbors banding together to form a neighborhood group to improve their own backyard, or stand-up for that neighborhood from people who have done it harm, or desire to do it harm. Then Bam wanders in all kinds of directions, lost in a cloud of smoke….ganga smoke likely.

  • Bam July 14, 2011 (3:25 pm)

    Mr. Node,

    Without delving into a myriad of political theories or meanings of the word “hardcore” I will just agree that like all rational individuals, one’s belief system should not be rooted into a single ideology.

    Regarding my “support” of the facility in question, I feel some clarification is in order. I neither support or am against the facility as a project. I only support the full exertion of the property rights of the owners of the property. If the owners of the property want to put such a facility in an area that is legally zoned for such uses, then they have every right to do so and nobody has the right to prevent them from the full usage of said property in the manner they sit fit.

    When discussing homelessness, I am not making up information or facts to support my premise. I am only using basic common sense which comes from the premise that based purely on socio-economics that there are likely more homeless people in Delridge than Magnolia and as such the facility is more in context in Delridge than Magnolia regardless of where the homeless people originate from. Again, I ask you the question, if you had $1,000 to bet on it, which neighborhood would you wager had more homeless people? If you think Magnolia really does have more homelessness than Delridge and as such the facility falls within the context of Magnolia more than Delridge I will gladly park my $1,000 in an escrow account and expect you to do likewise and then I could see some value in actually finding some statistical basis for my theory. I will then gladly take your money and would even spend some of it buying you some beers and continuing our debate. :)

  • Bam July 14, 2011 (3:35 pm)


    It appears you either didn’t read all of my posts which clarified my original post or you lack some basic reading comprehension skills as I state NUMEROUS times I commend anyone who gets involved in their neighborhood. Here are my direct quotes:

    “I applaud people for getting involved in their community….”

    “I applaud every business cooperating and working to improve the community…”

    “….overall as a whole I do appreciate what the NDNC does for the Delridge area.”

    What I “don’t like” as you state is people telling other people what they can and cannot do with their own property.

    In regards to how my posting(s) “wanders in all kinds of directions”, while it appears it may be difficult for you to comprehend a simple written point counterpoint debate and the required written structure of said debate it nonetheless should not require myself or Mr. Node to dummy down our conversational postings to simplify the information for others. My “wanderings” as you call them are in direct correlation to the points Mr. Node is discussing. Try to keep up. Perhaps it’s you who is lost in the cloud of “ganga” smoke.

  • I heart Delridge July 16, 2011 (1:09 am)

    Bam, above you said:

    “My entire point is that a facility such as the one proposed can better serve a neighborhood that does have a higher homeless percentage.”

    According to your criteria for siting supportive housing for the homeless then, these facilities should be built primarily in Pioneer Square and Belltown as those neighborhoods have a MUCH higher percentage of homeless than most other neighborhoods and both have far more than Delridge. In fact, Delridge may have a lot of serious unresolved issues, but homelessness is not a major issue here.

    I don’t mean any disrespect, but your argument just doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Sorry, comment time is over.