On Thursday, April 18, 2024, King County announced $3 million in funding to support an increase in shelter capacity and rapidly serve people experiencing homelessness in south King County cities, with $1 million earmarked for the City of Burien.

The City of Tukwila will receive $2 million.

The City of Burien will use the funds to support the Mary’s Place family shelter redevelopment project at 12845 Ambaum Blvd SW in Burien, which will expand the shelter’s capacity to more than 200 family members each night. This project, in partnership with Mercy Housing Northwest, will be co-located with 90 units of new, permanently affordable housing in addition to coordinated management, services, amenities, and community resources.

“We look forward to this development to increase safe and supportive shelter in Burien for families experiencing homelessness. These funds move us closer to that vision,” said Adolfo Bailon, City Manager for the City of Burien.

“I’m proud of the City of Burien and Mary’s Place/Mercy Housing,” Burien Mayor Kevin Schilling said. “Our collaboration shows what’s  necessary to build out capacity for long term work to address homelessness for families. I know that this project will demonstrate what’s possible when we have public-private partnerships that work toward positive outcomes in order to prevent homelessness for families.”

The cities of Tukwila and Burien were the only two applicants following the announcement of a $5 million funding opportunity in December, 2023 to support south King County with local response efforts for people experiencing homelessness, such as additional safe emergency shelter as they work to find stable, long-term housing. The county has since announced the investment of $2 million from this grant funding to support nonprofits in their work to provide urgent housing and assistance to asylees and refugees in Tukwila.

The $2 million grant for Tukwila will be used to fund a new shelter project to support unhoused individuals and families.

“Homelessness continues to be a major regional issue and smaller communities, like Tukwila, see the impacts of it every day,” said Tukwila Mayor Tom McLeod. “We want to thank King County for awarding us the $2 million grant. Our goal is to put these dollars to good use quickly and help our community’s most vulnerable.”

“We are so grateful to King County and our partners at the City of Burien for this critical funding to help us expand shelter capacity and housing for the growing number of families with children experiencing homelessness. The shelter project will serve 200+ family members and will be co-located with 90 units of permanently affordable housing being developed by Mercy Housing Northwest to provide an innovative and more integrated solution to family homelessness,” said Dominique Alex, Mary’s Place chief executive officer.

King County is currently beginning the contracting process with the cities and funding will cover costs incurred from the contract start date through December 31, 2025.

“Everyone deserves the safety and security of a roof over their head. We’re working with cities across King County to help address the regional challenge of homelessness by expanding shelter, housing, and support services for our unhoused neighbors,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine.

The City of Burien has long played an active role in supporting this project:

  • In February 2023, the Burien City Council passed a resolution to authorize the South King Housing and Homelessness Partnership, of which Burien is a member, to allocate the City’s portion of the more than $1 million in capital funding proposed for the project.
  • In September 2023, the City Council fast-tracked approval of an interim zoning ordinance to allow Mary’s Place and Mercy Housing Northwest to proceed with the project without losing access to time-sensitive funding they had received that would make the project possible.
  • The City successfully advocated for Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal to include the project on her 2024 Community Project Funding list, which secured another $1 million in funding.
  • In January 2024, the City applied for grant funding from King County in support of the project.