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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Charting a course in Seattle

What started as a service for sailors and loggers continues to anchor those in need

Lutheran Compass Mission in Seattle (today called the Compass Housing Alliance) serves men coffee in 1946.

Lutheran Compass Mission in Seattle (today called the Compass Housing Alliance) serves men coffee in 1946.

Established in 1920 to help sailors and loggers, the mission today is an ELCA-affiliated social service organization serving homeless and low-income men and women.

The mission began using its six-story building in Seattle’s Pioneer Square in 1941. After the building sustained damage in a February 2001 earthquake, the mission relocated to St. Paul’s Church in Fremont.

Compass now has one overnight emergency shelter for 40 women and one transitional shelter for 32 women and two families in Seattle. The center operates eight transitional homes for men and women in King County, two of which serve homeless veterans.


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