compass housing alliance

Since 1920, Compass Housing Alliance has been providing essential services for those experiencing homelessness and housing instability in the King County region. Today they offer emergency services, 24-hour enhanced shelter programs and permanent, supportive, affordable housing programs. 

Providing Essential Services at Compass Center in Pioneer Square 

The Compass Center building has provided emergency services in it’s same Pioneer Square location since the 40s, and now operates as a one-of-a-kind resource hub with access to many essential services.  Within the Compass Center building, 5 different programs are housed. In the basement, the Hygiene Center provides free laundry, showers and restroom access to all who need these services and is open Monday-Friday 7am-4pm. Many people will come in the morning to shower and drop off their laundry, go to work, and then come back in the afternoon to pick up their clean laundry. 

The first floor has two different programs, the Day Center and the Client Services Office. In the Day Center, folks have access to housing navigation, meals, a nurse, charging stations for personal devices and computers for checking email, applying for jobs, and recreational use.  The Client Services Office is the mail and banking office. Folks experiencing homelessness and housing instability have been able to use the address 77 S. Washington as a place to receive mail since 1941.  With a permanent address, this allows people to vote, receive VA and social services paperwork, connect with loved ones, and much more.  Both of these programs are open Monday-Friday 9am-4pm. This building also houses our newly renovated Otto’s Placed Enhanced Shelter and the Pioneer Square Men’s Program. All programs in the Compass Center building have remained fully open throughout the pandemic, and saw an increase in usage as other day programs and hygiene centers had to adjust services. 

24-Hour Enhanced Shelters 

As of spring 2021, all of Compass Housing Alliance’s shelter programs are 24-hour enhanced shelters. This means that all shelter guests have individual sleeping spaces with walls and spacing that allow for full covid compliancy and additional privacy. Each program is open 24-hours, allowing people to work evening or night shifts and still have a safe space to sleep during the day.  Compass operates three shelters in Seattle – Jan & Peter’s Place, Otto’s Place and Blaine Center. 

Permanent, Affordable Housing 

Compass has 14 affordable housing properties. While all programs provide permanent affordable housing, some programs provide additional supports or specialization. For example, at Shoreline Veterans Center and Renton Veterans Center, Case Managers receive additional training and support from the VA to make sure that Veterans living in these buildings are fully aware of the resources available to them. 

Celebrating their Centennial Anniversary 

To celebrate their centennial anniversary, Compass is having their 100th Birthday Bash on Sunday, May 16th. This free virtual event will feature stories from a collection of Compass speakers and a keynote from Rick Steves. Local artists Ryan ‘henry’ Ward and Stevie Shao created commemorative items and all proceeds from these designs will be donated to Compass. To learn more about their event, visit their website 

Donating and Volunteering

Due to Covid-19, Compass has paused their volunteering programs. You can learn more about the types of programs that will return here: 

Hygiene supplies like toothbrushes, razors, shampoo & conditioner and socks are always needed for the Hygiene Center and shelter programs. A wide variety of additional in-kind items are welcomed as well – learn more about items are needed here: 

The Client Services Office and Hygiene Center are funded by donors – if you are able, consider joining the monthly giving program that supports these programs : 

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