History of Brighton House
St. Andrew’s moved to its current location in 1955. In 1967, Mentzer House was added to provide office and classroom space for the growing congregation. One space need– parking–was outstanding. Over time, St. Andrew’s acquired three properties neighboring the church grounds. Two of the back yards were turned into parking lots. All three houses have been rented to generate revenue for St. Andrew’s ministries. There is no debt on these properties.
Starting in 2010, St. Andrew’s dedicated one of these houses, called Brighton House after its original owner Mina Brighton, to be used as transitional housing under the Church Council of Greater Seattle’s HomeStep program. This program provided safe, supportive housing while giving clients the skills and resources they need to become self-sufficient and leave homelessness permanently. As a housing participant, St. Andrew’s provided Brighton House to HomeStep clients for up to 24 months while the clients received services and support. Rent received from Brighton House while part of the HomeStep program has been a small portion of the house’s fair market rental value.
In mid-2015, Compass Housing Alliance, the organization that currently oversees HomeStep, alerted St. Andrew’s that federal funding for the program is being eliminated and that they wish to end St. Andrew’s participation in the program. HomeStep is working to find permanent housing for all of the families in its program before the program ends officially in August. Because HomeStep will no longer be able to provide oversight and support, St. Andrew’s has decided that Brighton House’s use as transitional housing will end when the current family moves out.
Since becoming involved in HomeStep, Brighton House has served as transitional housing for several families, most recently the Martinez family. Current plans are for the Martinez family’s residency to end in June 2016.