Snow covered trees in Federal Way during the snowstorm in February. Photo courtesy of Shelley Pauls

Snow covered trees in Federal Way during the snowstorm in February. Photo courtesy of Shelley Pauls

With snow in the forecast, FW activates emergency overnight warming shelter

Overnight shelter open at the Federal Way Community Center from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. through the weekend.

With low temperatures and snowfall in the forecast, the City of Federal Way activated its emergency overnight warming shelter for homeless individuals on Feb. 11.

The emergency shelter is activated when the temperature dips to 32 degrees or below for at least 24 consecutive hours, or if snow accumulation is three inches or more, to provide a safe and warm facility for people experiencing homelessness to escape severe weather conditions at night.

Located at the Federal Way Community Center, the emergency warming shelter opens at 8 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis to fill between 30 beds available, said Steve McNey, communications and government affairs coordinator for Federal Way.

The overnight warming shelter will be open through Sunday, Feb. 14, and is open to adults and kids at night, however pets are not allowed. Guests will be required to leave in the daytime.

Due to COVID-19 protocols, the amount of beds available for homeless individuals throughout King County has dropped to about 400, McNey said.

In addition to Federal Way’s emergency shelter, the city will also be working through their referral partner agencies to provide about 20 hotel vouchers to individuals in need. The city is also working with the Red Lion Inn and Suites Federal Way, located at 1688 S. 348th St., to provide rooms, estimating they could serve up to 20 people in 10 rooms.

“These are absolutely life-saving measures,” McNey told the Mirror. The limited capacity of the emergency warming shelter and hotel room options is a difficult challenge and the city wants to “make sure we’re getting our residents into these facilities first.”

Working with the Red Lion Inn is part of the city’s plan, in partnership with King County, to create a long-term shelter in Federal Way for homeless individuals, McNey said, adding that a long-term shelter is a future project.

In October 2020, Metropolitan King County Council approved the King County Health through Housing ordinance, creating a 0.1% sales tax which the county is planning on bonding against, generating hundreds of thousands of dollars for affordable housing projects, the Mirror previously reported.

This funding can be used to buy existing hotels, motels and nursing homes, then turn them into emergency and affordable housing units with services for mental and behavioral health. The original proposal would have raised nearly $68 million a year, allowing the county to raise $400 million in bonds. But seven cities enacted their own version of the tax, reducing the amount the county will collect by some $17 million a year.

The Federal Way Community Center is located at 876 S. 333rd St. Federal Way. Operation hours of the emergency warming shelter are 8 p.m. to 7 a.m.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

The mascot of Illahee Middle School, located at 36001 1st Ave. S., is under consideration due to a new law prohibiting the inappropriate use of Native American symbols and imagery. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror
State law could affect mascots of three Federal Way schools

Three Federal Way schools may be affected by a recent bill approved… Continue reading

A Cymbidium Orchid captured at the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden in Federal Way. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror
‘A Mother’s Prayer’ by Robert J. Darrigan

“A Mother’s Prayer” A Mother’s Prayer, Sustains her seed with a heavenly… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Vickie Chynoweth
Well-fed from the Federal Way Farmers Market: Grilled chicken thighs with rhubarb sauce

This week’s recipe features fresh rhubarb, asparagus, olive oil and pita bread found at the Saturday market.

File photo
Serial slapper returns, sexually assaults two women in Federal Way | Police blotter

Following is a sample from the Federal Way police log April 28 to May 4.

(Pxfuel)
Federal Way approves $3 hazard pay raise for grocery store workers

The city ordinance was passed with a 5-2 council vote on May 4.

Courtesy photo
Police search for suspect in fatal shooting of 8-year-old Federal Way girl

The girl’s father was initially arrested by police, but further investigation has revealed a new suspect.

Governor Jay Inslee. Sound Publishing file photo
New laws will tax the rich, offer aid to low-income workers

Inslee signs bill creating capital gains tax; foes are challenging it in court as unconstitutional.

U.S. Department of Justice. Courtesy image
Federal Way man sentenced to 5 years in prison after gun, drug trafficking

The 35-year-old man sold four firearms — two of which were stolen — to undercover federal agents.

Most Read