Photo by Divine Harvester

Fremont and Wallingford residents who live close to the empty Thunderbird Motel/Fremont Inn on Aurora received letters from Catholic Community Services (CCS) about a meeting they’re holding tomorrow (Wednesday, 7/13) to discuss the site’s future. The meeting starts at 6:30 pm at the Fremont Abbey (4272 Fremont Avenue N.) Before it was sold in 2010, the Aurora Avenue motel had a long history of being a “chronic nuisance”.

The CCS letter provides some insight into their proposed plans of low-income housing:

Our project includes constructing a new secure access four story building that will include approximately 71 studio and one-bedroom apartments. These units would be available to people who have experienced homelessness and who have incomes below 30% of the area median income. The building would also provide case management and other on-site support services to assist the tenants.

Reader Joe Donato is one of the Wallingford residents invited to the meeting, and he shared his thoughts about the plan in an email to us:

I actually don’t have a problem with such a unit being built near me.  For the most part people would need to cross the pedestrian bridge at 41st to get into Wallingford, but it could lead to more break ins and crime in our community.  But I feel there has to be someplace for these people to go.  It’s time to stop shuffling people around and give them a place to get there life back.

If you have questions concerning the plans, you can contact Dan Wise, Division Director for Catholic Community Services. Email: [email protected] Phone: 206.324.5401.

The PI has additional details about the site and the plans, including a slide show of the proposed designs. Click here to read the article.

Thanks for the tip, Joe!

  1. Norge said,

    This is another facility for the chronically homeless drunks and drug addicts that are being moved out of downtown (Pioneer Square) into residential neighborhoods. Their reasoning is that the chronically homeless want to live in safe, stable neighborhoods and the price of property in downtown Seattle is too expensive to build any more of these so-called supportive facilities. DESC is building a 90-unit facility on 105th & Aurora, Compass Housing is building an 80-unit facility in Ballard (on 56th & 20th), LIHI is building an Urban Rest Stop in Ballard (on 57th & 20th) and a 75 unit facility on 47th & 12th NE, DESC is building a 70 unit facility in Delridge, another facility has been built on 35th & Avalon. These facilities have been built in Lake City. The City has not only decided that neighborhoods should have 20% low income, but they have now changed that statistic that for every 500 units of housing they can put in one of these so-called supportive facilities where the residents are chronic drunks, drug addicts, mentally ill and sex offenders. These residents will have food, medical and psychological services provided. There will be no requirement they clean up — they can drink in their rooms or go outside to get high and go back in. They can have guests — up to two at a time. The Seattle neighborhoods need to take a stand against these moves into residential neighborhoods.

    Wed, July 13 at 8:08 am
  2. kolokolo said,

    We already got taken by gift of Grace Church. Promises were made and not fulfilled. Calls not returned. Open drinking and vagrants in streets during off times.

    Why dump more on Wallingford when recent effort was so disturbing and unsuccessful?
    Give it a rest.

    Wed, July 13 at 10:25 am
  3. stacey said,

    CCS runs Aloha Inn further south on 99. I’d urge you to look a their website ( for more information. Here are some of the resident requirements:

    “15 Hours of Work Each Week
    Each resident works a minimum of 15 hours every week in one or more of the work areas or the committees. These 15 hours are paid a non-taxable training wage of $1 per hour. You can use this $15 each week to pay most of your rent.

    Weekly Rent is $15-25
    You can’t find a better bargain in town. Rent is $15 per week for the first two weeks, and $25 weekly thereafter. (Rent stays at $15 for those people on GAU.) You can use your $15 training wage to help pay your rent easily.

    Sobriety on the Premises
    The Aloha Inn is a clean and sober environment. Alcohol, illegal drugs and intoxication are absolutely forbidden on the premises. Drug use at any time during your stay is forbidden as well. We conduct surprise UAs.

    Saving $80 Per Week
    The Screening Committee monitors each resident in saving a minimum of $80 per week in a bank, for permanent housing ($60 if on GAU). At the end of a nine month successful stay at the Aloha Inn, you will have $3,000 and a good housing reference, with which to move into decent, stable housing. ”

    You can find more about CCS programs and housing at the website –

    Wed, July 13 at 11:05 am
  4. Janey said,

    I just sent this email to Dan of Catholic Community Services. Sorry I can’t figure out how to do more clever formatting on the blog. I can’t think of a better use for the trashed former motels. I mean, like what — more condo’s? More graffiti?

    I just wanted to let you know that I probably won’t be to attend tomorrow’s meeting, but am completely in support of your project. I was thrilled to see the city shut down the creepy motels on Aurora, and have been horrified to see the graffiti that has bloomed there. I would love to have more mixed housing in our neighborhood, and be glad to have formerly homeless people have transitional housing. Have to admit I was a bit of a NIMBY when I heard that the property at 45th & Stone Way was going to become low- to mixed-income housing, and it has had zero impact on the neighborhood, except for a much-needed infusion of diversity. I am glad to have more African and Latino neighbors. Welcome to the ‘hood!

    Wed, July 13 at 9:45 pm
  5. stacey said,

    I attended part of the meeting last night. I can’t give a full update now, but I wanted to add a few notes.

    This wil be permanent housing for very low income individuals and couples. People will pay 30% of their income as rent. If you are interested in touring on of their other housing units, contact Dan Wise.

    Thu, July 14 at 7:45 am
  6. Stone said,

    I live across the street from the Thunderbird in the Mirabella Apartments. While the pimps and prostitutes were highly entertaining to watch for a few minutes when I left for work each morning, I welcome use of the land for something more positive. One of the chronic ailments of US society is the decreasing middle class and increasing lower class. If we give lower class folks a chance at residential stability, perhaps they will be able to rise out of poverty and return to contributing to society on a financial basis. However, I’d like to see the property used for single mothers or families, and not for homeless people with mental illness. Sorry to say that, but I don’t want mentally unstable people living across the road from me.

    Fri, July 15 at 1:45 am
  7. kolokolo said,

    I livenear the property on Stone and 45th. I am often bothered by reskless parking and pulling in and out of the garage as I go by. While I do not ever see indication of any illegal activity like drugs, alcohol or panhandling, i am bothered by unsafe driving. I live very nearby and use the street in front and by its side regularly every day so I have a rather good observation spot.
    Good fo rthem for offering the option. I may qualify. My apartment is costing more than my income from a not helpful landlord.

    Fri, July 15 at 9:48 am
  8. stacey said,


    There are people with mental illnesses that live in your community right now. A woman at the meeting identified herself as bipolar and currently lives in low-income housing in Upper Fremont. She paints, she takes pictures, and she participates in the community.

    Yes, sometimes there are problems in buildings like this. However, residents of this proposed builiding will benefit from two on-site case managers and 24 hour building security.

    Fri, July 15 at 10:39 am
  9. Stone said,

    Stacey…sounds good to me. Better than God knows what was going on in there before. I like the idea of 24 hour security and the on-site case managers.

    Sat, July 16 at 7:55 am
  10. kolokolo said,

    i appreciate the meetings and discussion before the fact rather than after!

    Security and attempts to help people to improve their lives are important.

    Sat, July 16 at 8:01 am
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