Homeless Eastside youth now have an option for emergency shelter seven days a week with the opening of Friends of Youth's new facility in Redmond's Together Center.
The overnight shelter, called The Landing, includes space for up to 15 young people and serves as the only daily shelter on the Eastside for homeless people between the ages of 18 and 24. Friends of Youth previously operated The Landing out of the Bellevue YMCA during the week and at various faith congregations on Friday evenings.
Friends of Youth President Terry Pottmeyer called the opening of the permanent facility "a milestone" during a Wednesday ribbon-cutting ceremony that included Redmond Mayor John Marchione, King County Executive Dow Constantine, U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Dist. 8), members of the Redmond and Bellevue police departments, and several other community leaders.
"What we are celebrating today is far more than this space," Pottmeyer said. "What we are celebrating here today is hope."
The Landing is located in a space that previously housed Hopelink's emergency food bank. That program relocated to Cleveland Street last fall.
The new shelter is one step in Friends of Youth's long-range plans, which include a move of its headquarters from Redmond to Kirkland. The 60-year-old service agency is renovating a former chapel in the Totem Lake/Kingsgate area to serve as its base, and will also build crisis housing for young adults on the site.
Along with a place to sleep, the remodeled facility includes a laundry room, showers and office space for the seven staff members that work there both during the day at night. When it's not being used as an overnight shelter, Friends of Youth will use the facility to conduct its other outreach services, which include mental health counseling, employment services, housing referrals and more for young people between the ages of 15 and 24.
Mayor John Marchione applauded the new shelter, noting that the City of Redmond, along with King County and private organizations like United Way, had committed funding toward its opening. The economy has presented challenges for many young adults in Redmond, Marchione said, and it is the community's responsibility to provide assistance to those who are struggling.
"We have to take care of all those in the community," he said. "To be a full city, we have to offer all these services."
The Landing emergency youth shelter is located at 16225 NE 87th St., Suite A-1, Redmond, WA 98052. It is open every night from 8:45 p.m. to 8 a.m. for homeless young adults between the ages of 18 and 24. For more information, visit the Friends of Youth website, call 425-449-3868, or email Landing@friendsofyouth.org.