An attractive blue and gray apartment building with views of the Space Needle saved taxpayers $4 million in one year – simply by giving hardcore homeless alcoholics a place to live.
This home for the homeless has attracted visitors from across the country – including Dallas – looking for ways to move the most seriously ill off the streets and cut costs. But it has detractors because it doesn't require residents to stop drinking.
The $11 million project is one of the country's best-known examples of housing first, an approach to combating chronic homelessness by providing homes upfront and offering help for illnesses and addictions. The concept turns the traditional model, which typically requires sobriety before a person can get housing, upside down.