West Seattle, Washington
Just wanted to send out a reminder that the Shelter is open during these winter months. If you know someone/see someone that needs shelter, please send them our way: 3618 SW Alaska St.
-Cold Weather Shelter (overnight below 40F) open 5:00 PM, dinner at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
-Warm-Up Center open daily 7:30 am to 11:00 am. Hot breakfast from 8:30 am – 9:30 am
When the daytime temperature is forecast as below 40 F, the Shelter will be open all day.
The extended forecast says lows in the 20s are possible starting Sunday.
When Christmas brought an end to subfreezing weather, Keith Hughes finally got a break from round-the-clock operation of West Seattle’s only emergency shelter/warming center. Temperatures are expected to drop again next week, so he’s announced the shelter will reopen Monday at the West Seattle Veteran Center:
We will be back open on Monday morning, Jan 2, 2023 from 7:30 am till 11:00 am, and again at 5:00 pm for a hot meal and overnight every night that the overnight temperature is forecasted to be in the 30s. During the last Cold Weather Emergency, from November 3 thru December 25, we averaged 20 people per night, both men and women, as the only Shelter in the West Seattle/White Center area.
With that, the “Keep the Heat On at the Warming Center” crowdfunding campaign to help cover the costs will continue. Keith explains:
It takes a lot of help and support to feed, clothe, and house a group this size as a private, all-volunteer, non-profit organization. “Keep the Heat On” literally means being able to pay the gas bill, electric bill, water and sewer bill, insurance, and building maintenance (like cleaning supplies). We can’t do it without your help. Thank you to all who can join us in supporting our local Homeless community.
If you know someone who needs a place to go inside and be warm, the address is 3618 SW Alaska.
12:14 PM: In case you wondered too, as did a few readers, West Seattle’s only weather-emergency shelter, at WS Veteran Center in The Triangle, is indeed in operation right now. We spoke this morning with shelter operator Keith Hughes, who said he expects to keep the shelter open until Christmas morning, by which time the temperature should be headed into the 50s. As for whether the donation-and-volunteer-powered shelter has any current needs with which the community could assist, Keith says no – they’ve received enough recent donations that they’re stocked up.
12:54 PM: While Keith didn’t mention it, we’ve just learned that there is some financial need for shelter operations, and one of the shelter volunteers has started a crowdfunding campaign for expenses including a big utility bill – you can donate here.
With trucks getting stuck on hills as mentioned in our weather coverage, it’s no surprise that this was just announced by Seattle Public Utilities:
Due to winter weather conditions, there will be delayed residential garbage, recycling, and food/yard waste pickup in Seattle for customers in Seattle today, Tuesday, Dec. 20 through the rest of the week. SPU’s Haz Waste sites and stations are closed to customers today, Tuesday Dec. 20 and will attempt to reopen tomorrow, weather permitting.
Weather and road conditions permitting, garbage, recycling, and food/yard waste service will resume Wednesday, December 21, 2022 on a revised schedule — with customers scheduled for pickup today, Tuesday, collected tomorrow. All remaining residential services will be delayed one day this week. For example, if your regular collection day is Friday, your garbage, recycling, and food/yard waste will be collected on Saturday this week. Customers should be sure to have their containers out by 7 am to ensure collection.
If your materials are not picked up by the end of the following day, please put them out on your next regularly scheduled pickup day. Customers missed this week will be allowed to set out double their normal amount of garbage, recycling, and yard waste at no additional charge, on their next scheduled collection day.
11:15 PM: Police are investigating whether two West Seattle robberies tonight were committed by the same people, Right now they’re responding to the Shell station on Fauntleroy Way SW in The Triangle after a report that it was held up by two people described as Black, male, 16 or 17 years old, wearing masks and black jackets over hoodies and blue jeans; one had a black handgun. One officer pointed out to dispatch that the description matched that of two robbers who held up someone at California/Fauntleroy a few hours ago, getting away with the victim’s Air Pods. In that case, a getaway vehicle was reported, described as a black Hyundai SUV.
11:35 PM: And now a third robbery is reported, with two robbers matching that same description, this time at a gas station on the unincorporated side of Roxbury.
(West Seattle Veteran Center photo)
8:42 PM: As mentioned earlier, the fall’s first round of very cold weather is on the way. So West Seattle’s only emergency shelter – at American Legion Post 160/West Seattle Veteran Center – is getting ready to open. From its manager Keith Hughes:
The time has come – the first Cold Weather Emergency for winter 2022 has been declared by City of Seattle and King County Regional Homelessness Authority to run Sunday evening through next Friday night.
The West Seattle Warm-Up Center and Shelter, operating in the West Seattle Veteran Center at 3618 SW Alaska St, will officially open at 5 PM on Sunday.
I know that the cost of everything has gone up since I requested help for last winter, but I believe that the good people of West Seattle will step up and help support this All-Volunteer shelter operation.
Here’s the list of what the shelter needs:
#4 cone coffee filters
Instant Hot Cocoa Mix (for hot water)
Soft drinks in cans (store brands and things on sale)
Instant Oatmeal packets
Granola type low sugar cereal
Pancake mix, bisquick mix,
Pancake syrup, butter, jam
Canned soup, chili, beef stew
Packaged food like top ramen, cup-o-noodles, mac and cheese
Rice-a-roni, noodle-roni boxes
Dry spaghetti, egg noodles, macaroni
Spaghetti sauce in jars
Food store gift cards so we can get fresh things like milk, eggs, butter, meat
Socks, gloves, stocking caps, t-shirts and underware (men’s large and X-large)
Travel size individual soaps, shampoo; tooth brushes & toothpaste (ask your dentist for donations) bar soap for shower, laundry detergent pods
Toilet paper and paper towels, disinfectant wipes
We have a question out about optimal drop-off hours. Also last year there was discussion of donors ordering items online and having them shipped directly to the center/shelter.
1:26 AM: The reply: “Best times for dropoff are in the morning before 11 am and in the evening from 5 pm to 9 pm. Those interested may call 206-932-9696 for more information on extended hours.”
By the time this weekend’s West Seattle Ski Swap opened this morning at the VFW Post 2713 Hall in The Triangle, more than 700 people had consigned 2,500+ items for sale. Many were skis, of course – somebody even brought in brand-new K2s – but, as Riley from Ski Swap-presenting Mountain to Sound Outfitters (WSB sponsor) showed us, some are one of a kind:
(That’s a full-length coat.) Lots of interest, too – big line to get in, in the early going:
Today is the first of two days for the West Seattle Ski Swap, which (aside from the pandemic hiatus) is a decade-plus-old tradition. It’s open at 3601 SW Alaska (right across the street from M2SO’s storefront) until 5 pm today, then again 10 am-4 pm tomorrow (Sunday, October 23).
(WSB file photo)
Sooner or later, we’ll see rain (maybe even next Friday). And when we do, the mountains will (likely) get snow. So you might as well be ready for snow-sports season. We’re now one week away from this year’s West Seattle Ski Swap, a tradition dating back more than a decade. Next Saturday and Sunday (October 22-23), Mountain to Sound Outfitters (WSB sponsor) will present the event at the West Seattle VFW Hall (3601 SW Alaska, across the street from M2SO). It’s a chance to sell and/or buy gear. If you’re selling, the dropoff hours are 3-7 pm Friday (October 21) – first, register here, For browsing/buying, the Ski Swap hours will be 10 am-5 pm next Saturday and 10 am-4 pm next Sunday. And it’s more than skis – the Ski Swap brings an opportunity to buy/sell snowboards, boots, apparel, and other winter accessories.
Another veterans’ organization is offering Memorial Day poppies as a fundraiser. Here’s the announcement we received this morning from Keith Hughes, American Legion Post 160 commander:
The American Legion will have Poppies at the American Legion Hall at 3618 SW Alaska St on Sunday and Monday, 10 am to 4 pm. Drive up at the curb or drive in. Donations all go to direct support of Vets and their families for emergency financial support during these hard times.
Look for the canopy right out front on the westbound side of SW Alaska just east of 37th SW.
Last October, we brought you first word that West of Chicago Pizza Company planned to move from its Delridge kitchen to a sit-down space in The Triangle, 3770 SW Alaska, formerly home to Chaco Canyon Organic Café. This week West of Chicago announced that the “last day of operation at the Delridge location will be Sunday, May 29th” and that the deep-dish pizza place “anticipates opening our doors at the new location somewhere around the end of June and the beginning of July.” (Thanks to Greg for the tip.)
No need to worry about the weather – Healthy Kids Day fun is happening indoors at the West Seattle YMCA (3622 SW Snoqualmie; WSB sponsor). We stopped by to see how it’s going. Kids can bounce and jump in the gym:
It’s all free, membership NOT required, and happening until 1 pm!
Tomorrow’s the day – the return of Healthy Kids Day at the West Seattle YMCA (3622 SW Snoqualmie; WSB sponsor) in The Triangle! The Y welcomes families to help them celebrate “30 years of healthy kids … to celebrate kids being kids and to set them up for a summer of success!” It’s happening 10 am-1 pm Saturday, all free, membership not required. Don’t worry if the weather’s iffy – Healthy Kids Day includes indoor options too. Our calendar listing includes some of the activities you’ll be able to check out during HKD.
Another annual event coming back for 2022 after a pandemic hiatus: Healthy Kids Day at the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor). The Y has announced that it’s set for 10 am-1 pm Saturday, April 30th, at its main local branch, 3622 SW Snoqualmie in The Triangle. It’s a free event with activities for all ages, and membership is NOT required – it’s open to everyone. Here’s more info on what activities they’re planning – we expect more details as the event gets closer.
Real-estate firm Metropolist has added a West Seattle office, and celebrated today with a donation presented in honor of their “office-warming.” The SODO-based firm has moved into the West Seattle Triangle space at 3518 SW Genesee. Above are Metropolist brokers Domenica Lovaglia and Chad Zinda at left and right, with Chloe Gale and Tavia Rhodes from Evergreen Treatment Services at center. Evergreen serves thousands of people dealing with opioid-use disorder, and also is known for its REACH work helping people experiencing homelessness. Metropolist’s $27,607 donation today was from a pledge to donate 25 percent of their 2021 profits to the organization. The presentation happened while they celebrated the new space with friends and family.
Metropolist’s new space was formerly home to Budget Blinds; that longtime WSB sponsor is now at 2403 Harbor Avenue SW.
Winter’s not over yet, and colder weather is ahead. Keith Hughes of the West Seattle Veteran Center and American Legion Post 160 says he plans to reopen the overnight shelter there at 5 pm tomorrow (Saturday, March 5th). He plans to keep it open through at least next Wednesday, adding, “I will be staffing it myself and with volunteers from 5 pm until 10 am each day.” He says the King County Regional Homelessness Authority still is not funding the shelter, which is the only one in West Seattle – if they would , he says, “we could increase our staffing and increase our capacity to help the homeless community in the Southwest corridor.” Meantime, we asked if they need any particular donations right now, volunteers or food/clothing or money. His reply: “The community response over the past two cold spells has been wonderful and very generous, so I really don’t have any pressing needs for supplies or clothing this time around. I have also been able to build up my list of willing volunteers, so I am able to get at least one break per day for a run of 5 or 6 days of cold. I just want to keep up the awareness that winter is not over and there are still people out there without food and shelter. When you see them, help them. If you can’t help them directly, point them to the West Seattle Veteran Center Shelter.” It’s at 3618 SW Alaska.
Below-freezing nights are in the forecast all week, so West Seattle’s only emergency shelter has reopened its doors. It’s in the Veterans Center/American Legion Post 160 building in The Triangle, operated with volunteer help and donations, so center manager Keith Hughes emailed us with some requests for anyone who can help:
The Warm-Up Center and Cold Weather Overnight Shelter will be open this week and possibly into next week. We could really use the community’s support again, with men’s-size socks, gloves, stocking caps, T-shirts, and underwear. We have plenty of cots and blankets now, and we thank you all for those.
In the food department, our needs are: Coffee, creamer, pancake mix, instant oatmeal, instant hot-chocolate mix, granola bars, and grocery-store gift cards so we can get milk, eggs, and other fresh items. Thank you so much for your kind and generous support.
The center/shelter is at 3618 SW Alaska, 206-932-9696.
The overnight shelter is open, and will be each night this week, as well as the morning Warm-up Center. Warm-up hours are 7:30 – 11 am. Shelter opens at 5 pm, with hot meal at 6:30 pm. Check in for overnight closes at 10 pm.
The Shelter is located at the American Legion Hall at 3618 SW Alaska St in West Seattle.
Volunteers and financial support remain needed and appreciated, as noted here.
During our recent run of snowy/freezing weather, we reported multiple times on the only emergency cold-weather shelter in West Seattle, not operated by the city, not operated by a homelessness nonprofit, but instead operated by Keith Hughes, commander of American Legion Post 160 and manager of the co-housed West Seattle Veterans Center. The shelter is closed for now, as reported here, but winter has two more months to go and it’ll likely need to open again. So what can you do to be sure it’s ready? Here’s a new webpage set up by supporter Tomasz Biernacki with the backstory and two ways to help, as follows;
Now in his 4th winter of giving care to those struggling in the cold, Keith needs our help. He’s in his 70s and is exhausted. In addition to the folks he is serving, he’s been remodeling the building to meet code requirements for the kitchen and bathrooms, often dipping into his own 401K. To meet the growing need, he needs us now. He needs volunteers and funds.
If you can help with either or both, please do. Keith is a doer, but he can only do so much.
If you want to get involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. There is lots to do so please let us know time availability and what you would like to offer in terms of labor and services. Tomasz will get back to each person to pre-screen them for Keith.
If you would like to donate funds, you can do so here – https://gofund.me/1daf9797. We are hoping to raise $6,000 to help cover utility bills. Contributions are tax-deductible, as the West Seattle Veterans Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization
The city committed to cover what it would otherwise charge the center for December’s bills, but that’s just a fraction of the building’s costs.
The snow has melted and the temperature has risen into the 50s. West Seattle’s only emergency cold-weather shelter has closed its doors, for now. Its operator wants to share these words of thanks:
To all the true Neighbors of the West Seattle Community – thank you so much for your rapid and generous support to the call for help for the American Legion Post 160 and West Seattle Veteran Center Cold Weather Shelter. With your donations and help, we were able to stay open throughout the cold weather event to serve more than 50 individuals in their time of need. This is a grass-roots all-volunteer operation, only possible through your generosity.
The shelter has now suspended operation with the temperatures in the 40s and 50s. We will be prepared to re-open when the need arises. Winter is not yet over. Thank you.
Keith Hughes, Commander
West Seattle American Legion Post 160
President, West Seattle Veteran Center
As mentioned here in our coverage last month, the only city help for the shelter was a promise to cover the utility bills. Community members donated everything from cots to food to socks, plus volunteer hours.
“The phone will not quit ringing.”
That’s what Keith Hughes told us – between phone calls – when we stopped by American Legion Post 160 (3618 SW Alaska) this afternoon to see what he needs to keep running West Seattle’s only cold-weather shelter.
12 people slept there last night, and he was expecting more tonight. So he needs more cots, and blankets for the people who will sleep on them. Socks and gloves, too – those go fast, dozens of pairs so far.
And of course, he still needs more volunteers to help keep the doors open, as a daytime warming center – some people drop in for a cup of coffee, maybe a pair of socks, and then go back out – and overnight shelter.
He is serving two meals a day, as the whiteboard outside says:
But he says they have plenty of food – including six 5-pound pans of frozen lasagna – so they don’t need more food right now. And please don’t bring clothing – that takes more volunteers to sort and wash, and that’s more than he can handle. Socks and gloves, he can just keep on a table by the door to Pershing Hall, the event room that’s doubling as a shelter.
Running the shelter is more than a matter of just keeping the doors open. Hughes has also been kept busy handling logistics for the people who show up, or who are brought there; some of the phone calls he took while we were there had to do with someone dropped off there who really needed to be in a hospital instead.
Since the last time we talked with him, the city has started including Post 160 on its resource list of emergency shelters. And the new King County Regional Homelessness Authority has someone calling twice a day to check in. But the only government help he’s getting, says Hughes, is a city promise to cover the utility bills for December – running two furnaces, doing laundry, and providing showers adds up.
If you have questions, or are interested in volunteering, call Post 160 any time between 8 am and 6 pm at 206-932-9696, or call Hughes directly at 206-941-6654.
WEDNESDAY NOTE: Please see the comment discussion below for updates. In short – volunteers still needed, everything else is good for now, thanks to some fast-acting generous people!
You would think this snowy weather would make it a memorable week for Mountain to Sound Outfitters, a West Seattle business that specializes in part in snow gear. But instead, for proprietor Greg Whittaker, it’s memorable in a bad way.
His shop at 3602 SW Alaska was broken into early today for the third time in a week. We heard about it from a reader who was passing by early this morning and saw SFD on the scene cleaning up broken glass. We then obtained the police report and followed up with Whittaker. The police-report narrative says officers arrived to find what the photo above shows, as well as a “large amount of ski equipment lying on the ground outside of the business along with several display hangers.” An audible alarm was sounding. The burglar(s) were gone; SFD was called for help “to secure the damaged door.”
When we contacted Whittaker by email, he said this was the third burglary this week at the shop, and added: “This is completely disheartening. We buy the gear to help West Seattle enjoy the winter and now key items are gone from our store. Keep an eye out for kids’ jackets, skateboards, sunglasses, gloves, goggles. I’d like to ask the community to keep watch in our block, as it seems like they are getting bolder.” If you have any information, the SPD incident number is 21-340896.
Once again, American Legion Post 160 in The Triangle is opening a winter-weather overnight shelter – but we just learned this afternoon that volunteers are urgently needed. Post commander Keith Hughes says they are required to have two people on site at all times while open as a shelter, and they need help filling those slots. Ideally a volunteer could be there either 6 pm-midnight or midnight-6 am, but if you can only give a few hours, they’ll take the help they can get. If you have questions, or are ready to volunteer, call Post 160 any time between 8 am and 6 pm at 206-932-9696, or call Keith directly at 206-941-6654.
Finally an answer to the question of where Alki Lumber will move when its West Seattle Triangle site is redeveloped: South Park. The Sweeney family, which has owned the lumberyard for a century, has sold the business to South Park-based Marine Lumber. We talked late today with Lynn Sweeney, after learning via a tip that Alki Lumber was notifying customers about the change. The Sweeneys have been looking for a new site for the lumberyard for two years, after deciding to redevelop its current site and some of their other properties; the two-building megaproject has just finished going through Design Review (as covered here and here). She says they were focusing on South Park as a likely new home when, independent of their search, Marine Lumber reached out to them. After discussions, Sweeney said, “we just decided to combine” – something, she said, has been happening a lot in their industry. The deal closed this week.
Here’s what it means in the near future: Alki Lumber will continue operating at its current West Seattle location, with the same staff, under the same name, until it’s time to clear out (which is not imminent, given the time required for permits and other preparations). We’ll be following up with Marine Lumber about their future plans – this news came too late in the day to do that immediately. Sweeney says all this is “exciting” but also, for her family, “bittersweet.” Alki Lumber was founded by her great-grandfather James A. Sweeney in 1921. The family maintains ownership of the land, so for now, they’ll remain the lumberyard’s “landlord,” as Sweeney put it. It’s been almost three years since the Sweeneys announced they were studying “alternatives” for their property’s future.)