UPDATE: Admiral Church community meeting Sunday to discuss plan for overnight shelter

6:20 PM: Aside from the Camp Second Chance tiny-house village, West Seattle does not have a dedicated shelter for people who need one. Local churches have tried to pick up a little of that slack over the years. The next one to try to help is Admiral Church, which sent us this announcement:

Admiral Church has voted overwhelmingly to partner with Operation Nightwatch, a long-standing street ministry in Seattle, to provide shelter for up to ten men who otherwise would be sleeping outside this winter. The church is inviting neighbors and interested parties to attend an info session this Sunday, October 24th from 12-12:30 to learn more. The meeting will take place at 4320 SW Hill St in North Admiral, in the sanctuary where the men will be sheltered from 9:45 pm to 6:00 am. This ministry program will hopefully begin in mid-November.

You can read more about Operation Nightwatch here.

ADDED FRIDAY AFTERNOON: We asked Admiral Church’s Pastor Andrew Conley-Holcom a few followup questions after receiving this announcement on Thursday, and today we received the answers. The shelter guests would be brought by bus from downtown after Operation Nightwatch’s nightly dinner there. Operation Nightwatch will cover all expenses (staff, transportation, utilities, consumables) – what the church is contributing is the space, for “no more than 10 beds, spread out in Admiral’s sanctuary.” It would be “lights out” – or, “last cigarette” – by 11 pm. Everyone has to be up by 6 am and “out of the area by 6:30 am”; the plan for “busing the guys back downtown in the morning” is not yet finalized. An Operation Nightwatch staff person would “do half-hour sweeps and logging throughout the stay” and would stay to clean until 7 am.

As for who the men would be, “Guests will be folks already seeking help from Nightwatch but who otherwise would be turned away for lack of beds.” We asked about opportunities for community contributions; that won’t be clear until “after the ‘cohort’ gets established,” but “donations to the program are always welcome.”

37 Replies to "UPDATE: Admiral Church community meeting Sunday to discuss plan for overnight shelter"

  • Jenben October 21, 2021 (6:26 pm)

    What a wonderful idea! Operation Nightwatch is a very old and reputable organization. It’s certainly what Jesus would be doing during these times. Thank you  Admiral UCC 

    • SchoolZone October 21, 2021 (9:03 pm)

      Jesus would be taking homeless men from downtown via a van and bringing them into a VERY residential neighborhood in West Seattle to sleep?  Jesus would also choose the same location as a preschool and then just give those same men a bus pass to use as they please (or not) when they have to leave in the morning?

      • Cozy October 22, 2021 (12:38 pm)

        Homeless folks come from neighborhoods, just like West seattle, and then end up on the streets of downtown.

      • Jort October 22, 2021 (1:10 pm)

        Yes, as Jesus said in Luke 14, “When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous. Unless you live in a ‘VERY’ residential neighborhood. Then just keep those ICKY, ICKY homeless away from you! EWWW ICKY!” What gross behavior. As if the “veriness” of a “residential neighborhood” makes compassion less applicable. How disgusting.

      • Joan October 22, 2021 (5:00 pm)

        In case you haven’t noticed, West Seattle has a population of homeless too. They don’t have to be imported from downtown. I would be pleased to see some be able to get off the street. But it’s not a permanent solution. But 10 is better than none.

    • ConcernedNeighbor October 22, 2021 (7:25 am)

      How about we wait for all the details before making proclamations, especially with blatant religious undertones.  There are serious questions that the church needs to provide answers to, like the following:

      • How does this help the homelessness problem and reverse it?
      • Why are the participants being brought in by van from downtown?
      • When these men have to leave in the morning how are they getting back downtown?
      • Is it a good idea to do this in the same location as a preschool?
      • Is doing this in a highly residential area the proper place?
      • Should this be done at a location that is a direct path for many to walk their children to Lafayette Elementary?
      • What is the church’s motivation in doing this, is it because they are being compensated?
      • Jort October 22, 2021 (1:14 pm)

        Here, let me answer one of your questions, “How does this help the homelessness problem and reverse it.” Let’s see, um, it gives them a home for the night, reversing them not having a home. I also love, again, how this being a “highly residential area” somehow makes this a place where people —— should not live?! What the hell is a “residential area” for, to you? This panic is just so, so gross to witness from my neighbors.

        • S.A. October 22, 2021 (6:22 pm)

          Everyone knows what “a very residential area” really means. It’s about the neighborhood’s character.

  • Deb October 22, 2021 (7:24 am)

    In theory, yes, but this church also houses a day care center and is on the walking route to school for many neighborhood children.  It appears that there is not a solid plan for how the men will leave in the morning.  The scant information provided to the neighbors thus far said they would depart at 7am.According to Nightwatch, they have only one van and multiple sites where men will be spending the night.  Their website notes that the men might depart with a bus ticket and a blanket.  Since there are no social services available int the North Admiral area, where would they go?Also, according to Nightwatch, there will be no screening for drug and alcohol addiction or mental health issues.  While I believe it’s important to help homeless people in Seattle, safety and community concerns of neighbors should be considered and addressed.

    • Cozy October 22, 2021 (12:49 pm)

      ‘is on the walking route to school for many neighborhood children’

      Wow, do you hear what you are presuming about homeless folks?  When was the last time you heard a news story about a homeless person harming a child? 

      These comments are appalling.

      • ConcernedInAdmiral October 22, 2021 (1:55 pm)

        You must not have lived here long.


        I’m all for having a shelter, but screening for substance abuse and mental illness is a must. This area does not have close access to facilities required to help folks with those issues. Our first responders here have already been cut significantly.

        • Cozy October 22, 2021 (7:01 pm)

          How many crimes have been committed towards children by homeless people in West Seattle in the last 5 years, vs how many residents with houses and cars have reportedly committed child abuse.

          Might be interesting to see this data.

  • pjk October 22, 2021 (7:45 am)

     This is awesome!  While I grew up in WS and live closer to Burien now, I coordinate a men’s winter shelter at my church in Phinney Ridge.  It’s in conjunction with Union Gospel Mission and has been very well received in the neighborhood (this will be our 12th year).  It takes a bit of educating both the neighbors and the homeless but well worth the investment in lives!  Our church also has a private K-6th grade school and the kids reach out to the men at holidays with cards, small gifts, etc.  Praying for your success!!

    • Admiral Church October 26, 2021 (3:31 pm)

      Hello PJK, Thank you so much for this post! And your prayers. Pastor Andrew of Admiral Church would like to invite you to the next Community Meeting on Sunday, November 7th at 12-1pm at Admiral Church re: Operation Nightwatch. Please contact pastorandrew@admiralchurch.org

  • Wendi Ghiloni October 22, 2021 (9:43 am)

    I encourage neighbors attend this meeting to fully understand how this program will function and possible impacts to the neighborhood. Some major concerns include safety and not knowing if these individuals have prior criminal offenses.   

    • heartless October 22, 2021 (10:01 am)

      May I ask how you know whether or not your current neighbors have “prior criminal offenses”?

      • miws October 22, 2021 (6:43 pm)

        Heartless, I love you… —Mike

  • Wendi October 22, 2021 (9:47 am)

    I encourage neighbors attend this meeting to fully understand how this program will function and possible impacts to the neighborhood. Some major concerns include safety and not knowing if these individuals have prior criminal offenses.   

  • ConcernedPreschoolParent October 22, 2021 (10:31 am)

    As someone who has children in the preschool there, I can tell you that there have been people who have slept right next to the entrance to the school door (the one facing Hill). There has also been people sleeping behind the bushes that face California. Kids play in BOTH these areas, so it’s really concerning that more people might be attracted to this particular spot. While I agree with the message, I don’t think THIS particular church should be the one to house the unhomed. There are other churches within WS, that are much closer to food places (like the church right next to Trader Joe’s, the church down past the WS nursery) that are not in proximity (aka in the same space) to an active preschool. 

    • Auntie October 22, 2021 (1:51 pm)

      Yes, please move it to a church not near my home or school, they cried! How does moving it to a church next to Trader Joe’s change anything? That is near Holy Names, isn’t it? There are homes just up the street from there, aren’t there? There are homes near the church down past the WS nursery, too. Anywhere but near your house – I get it.

    • heartless October 22, 2021 (3:36 pm)

      “As someone who has children in the preschool there, I can tell you that there have been people who have slept right next to the entrance to the school door (the one facing Hill). There has also been people sleeping behind the bushes that face California.”

      If only we had a plan to give those people beds for the night.  Oh.. Wait.

      “While I agree with the message, I don’t think THIS particular church should be the one to house the unhomed.”

      It’s been some time since I’ve seen such a perfect example of NIMBYism. 

      • S.A. October 22, 2021 (6:25 pm)

        Well Jesus did say “what you do for the least of these, you do for me… but you don’t have to do it in YOUR backyard.”

    • miws October 22, 2021 (6:49 pm)

      ConcernedPreschoolParent, according to Google Maps, the church is only  4/10 of a mile from Safeway. —Mike

  • KM October 22, 2021 (1:58 pm)

    Y’all should ask some of these assumptive questions of your housed neighbors.

    • AnotherConcernedNeighbor October 22, 2021 (11:21 pm)

      As someone who is actually in the immediate neighborhood, I can vouch that we know our neighbors. We know them by name, and we watch out for each other. We know the bus drivers who walk around the block during their break. It is not unreasonable to be concerned about the potential of strangers loitering close to our yards where our young children play.

  • Staycalm October 22, 2021 (3:34 pm)

    I have to wonder if those of you who find the comments so appalling have children of your own. It’s one thing to have compassion and another to want to keep your children safe. In the news recently a homeless mental ill man  ran off with a two year old girl, and what about the man in downtown Seattle who threw a hot cup of coffee at a child so yes there is a possibility it could happen .

    • heartless October 22, 2021 (4:05 pm)

      Stay calm and don’t panic so much about how menacing the homeless are.

      We can play the anecdote game all day, or you can provide statistics showing the homeless are more likely than others to be a danger to children.  I’ll wait.

    • miws October 22, 2021 (7:32 pm)

      StayCalm, and we also occasionally hear about children being harmed by someone affiliated with a religious-based entity in a position that has direct contact with the children and with a level of trust. —Mike

  • BMC October 22, 2021 (4:20 pm)

    Concerned neighbor – are you kidding? Worried about Lafayette? What about the guy who lives in the baseball dugout at Hiawatha. There are plenty of these folks lurking around in the shadows. At least they would be monitored here.

  • Aviator October 22, 2021 (5:43 pm)

    This program needs a clear policy for both transportation and crisis management. The moment they transport someone, they are taking a level of responsibility for that person’s decisions. Even with the best of intentions, a safety incident or disturbance from a relocated person will be the fault and responsibility of the program.

  • Keith Hughes October 22, 2021 (8:48 pm)

    By the way, there is a Cold Weather Shelter facility in West Seattle, and this will be my third winter ofdoing my best to operate it on my own, no help from the City, County, or the Interfaith Community.  It is at the West Seattle American Legion Hall and Veterans Center.   If you don’t want a shelter running in your neighborhood, maybe you could offer some support to the Vets Center shelter that is in the Triangle District – not a residential neighborhood.  With some help (staff) and support (money) we could increase the capacity and services offered here and meet a larger percentage of the need in West Seattle.Keith Hughes  206-932-9696

    • S.A. October 23, 2021 (10:06 am)

      What kinds of things would help your efforts there, Keith? Do you have a list of needs?

      • Keith R Hughes October 27, 2021 (9:21 pm)

        My list of “things” = coffee, hot cups(paper) paper plates 6″ and 9″, large paper bowls, coffee creamer and sugar packets, hot chocolate mix, instant oatmeal.Socks, underwear, tee shirts, stocking caps, waterproof hats/ball caps, rain slickers, ponchos, hooded sweatshirts, used but useable backpacks still waterproof, Most of all I need help with overnight monitoring and morning time coffee and breakfast time. 

  • Pessoa October 24, 2021 (6:35 pm)

    Whatever circumstances brought these men to their present situation, even personal failings, being homeless is certainly no picnic. I flinch, though, when I read some here quoting scripture and ascribing it to the figure “Jesus.” Supernatural or not, Jesus never wrote a single verse in the NT, it all comes secondhand from disciples. Why? I suspect for the very reasons we see here – everyone using his words to bludgeon their opponents.

  • Lina October 25, 2021 (11:04 am)

    As a parent of an elementary school aged kid, member of this community and a human being, I welcome this addition into my neighborhood.  I’m truly disgusted at the fear- mongering in the name of “protect the children!”  I consider this an opportunity to teach my child about compassion for other human beings, and about the privilege and responsibility our family has.  The completely dehumanizing language being used to describe people living without shelter in many of the comments on this thread is really gross and offensive.  Honestly, I’ve got way more concern about my child growing up in a place surrounded by this barely disguised racism and classism than I ever would have of my kid encountering someone living without shelter.  I hope I’ve taught my kids to view everyone as a human being.  Some folks on this thread could use a lesson in that.

    • miws October 25, 2021 (2:25 pm)

      Lina, You are an awesome parent. —Mike

      • Lina October 25, 2021 (9:30 pm)

        Awe, thanks Mike!  I try!

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