• City money preserves hours at rest stop for homeless

    By: Web Staff

    Updated:

    On Tuesday morning, Anthony Foreman wore a jumpsuit provided by the Urban Rest Stop.

    All his clothes were in the wash.

    Many homeless shelters are segregated by age or gender, but at the Urban Rest Stop, entire families can come for laundry, a restroom or hot showers.

    "You can come in here and just be human again by washing up," Foreman said.

    This fall, a funding crunch put a third of the hours at risk of being cut.

    Directors put up signs warning the Urban Rest Stop would have to close on weekends and evenings.

    That changed on Friday when the Seattle City Council came up with another $200,000.

    Councilmember Sally Bagshaw led that effort.

    She also tried to get the rest of the council to approve an additional $5 million a year to help the homeless. Instead she got $1.2 million.

    "We sure made a down payment in the right direction," Bagshaw said.

    Bagshaw wants the city to send more money to nonprofits and faith-based groups who work with the homeless, without dictating how they should spend it.       

    "The institutions can say to us, this is what we'll do and this is how much we can charge," Bagshaw said. "So there's a real opportunity to get more people off the streets tonight."

    Bagshaw said she wants to see more places like the Urban Rest Stop, which meets the most basic of needs.

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