A Belltown residential treatment facility shutters, leaving a hole in King County’s mental health system
In May, a Sound Health employee stepped out of the El Rey, a 60-bed residential facility for people with serious mental illness in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, and recognized someone on the sidewalk.
Feet from the entrance was a woman who had been discharged from the facility earlier in the year, according to the employee. She sat next to a tent covered in a red tarp behind a toppled shopping cart, an empty cup in her hand.
“Where are you living now?” the employee asked.
“Out here,” she said.
For the employee, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of losing