Homeless people camped outside the King County Administration Building Thursday night, trying to draw attention to the closure of 15 shelters.
The group that runs the shelters has money problems. They say the problem grew when King County shut off their funding last year.
Rick McClain is homeless. He says most homeless shelters micro-manage the people who sleep there.
McClain: “'This is what we want you to do: You must believe this religion, or you must stand over here, you must stand over there, this is how much space we’re going to give you, and you should damn well better be grateful for it.'”
McClain says he was even more grateful for the shelter run by SHARE. It’s way more easy going, because it’s run by homeless people.
McClain: “We gather together and we choose to follow the rules that we have.”
King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles: “One of SHARE’s strengths may also be one of its weaknesses.”
“People like it because it’s very informal, in terms of the operations, they don’t feel there’s a lot of bureaucracy, the paperwork involved. But on the other hand, then it’s more difficult for them to give evidence that they’ve followed the system so that they can be eligible…”
…eligible for funding.
Unlike King County, the city of Seattle does give money to SHARE. But a city official said that money could stop flowing, if SHARE doesn’t open back up its shelters.