Sometimes good listening effects a change of heart in a community. In 2017 many in the Bellevue community were outraged at the mere mention of a need for a men’s shelter. In response, Bellevue Conflict Resolution Center helped design and facilitate a 20-table public listening session to gather concrete input from the community for a land use code amendment governing future shelters. Code writers personally collected each table’s notes, then adhered faithfully to the wishes of the people in the drafting of the amendment. In 2020, at a public meeting on the newly proposed men’s shelter, the community who spoke were all positive and supportive, many asking to be considered for the Good Neighbor Agreement committee, a requirement of the amendment, making possible a temporary home for the increasing number of men experiencing homelessness.
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