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With cold weather ahead, Seattle Center Exhibition Hall to become emergency shelter [Update]

100 extra beds will be available from Sunday through Tuesday Thursday with no referral needed

Update, February 21: Seattle’s Human Services Department announced today that the emergency cold-weather shelter would continue operating nightly through Thursday—adding the nights of Wednesday, February 21 and Thursday, February 22 from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Original article, February 16:

It’s been a chilly week in Seattle, and with more cold weather ahead, Seattle’s Human Services Department is opening up a temporary cold weather shelter from Sunday, February 18 through the evening of Tuesday, February 20 at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall at 301 Mercer Street on the north side of the Center.

The shelter, run by Compass Housing Alliance, has room for 100 people and will not require a referral for entry. The entrance will be on the lower level of the hall, and will be open from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. each day.

HSD deputy director Jason Johnson adds that the department asks “that all shelters ensure all available space is used to help bring people out of the cold.”

Area service providers, said HSD, have been notified. Many buses serve the Seattle Center, including Metro routes 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, and 13, plus the Rapidride D line.

Temperatures are likely to hit a low of 25 degrees on Sunday night, according to current forecasts by the National Weather Service, with freezing temperatures sticking around through at least Tuesday. Snow is possible.

The temporary shelter comes as the city wrestles with the aftereffects of a rebidding process for providers of homeless services, which meant that while some new providers got funding, some longtime providers—especially those that provide mats on the floor—were cut. HSD is keeping those shelters open through the winter, although some community groups are calling for funding restoration.

This article has been corrected to reflect correct shelter times.

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