Washington House Speaker Frank Chopp says he’s thankful for $1.5 million in funding from the city of Seattle that will be spread out over the next three years to support a homeless youth opportunity center and housing project in Capitol Hill.

Councilmember Sally Bagshaw had sponsored a $1.5 million contribution toward the youth center in 2018, which is a project being led by Chopp at the state level. Select Budget Committee chair Lisa Herbold’s balancing package in Nov. 14 reduced that funding to $500,000 in 2018, but another $500,000 will be committed in 2019 and again in 2020.

Chopp said Herbold had asked him whether spreading the funding out over three years would still work for the project.

“We very much appreciate the $1.5 million from the city — that’s great,” Chopp said. “Getting the money to the college over the next three years is fine with them.”

Chopp has been working with Seattle Central College to turn its surplus South Annex property into a homeless youth center with housing since he learned the college was looking for a developer to take over the site. The Seattle Democrat lined up $1.5 million in funding for the project during the 2016 legislative session. Another $1 million is held up in the 2017 capital budget, which didn’t pass during the last session.

With the House and Senate now under the control of Democrats, it’s possible a special session could be called next month to pass the stalled budget. Chopp said he's optimistic that will happen, adding there will still be more funding needed.

The Washington Department of Commerce’s Office of Homeless Youth has issued a request for proposals (RFP) seeking a nonprofit, public development authority, local government or housing authority to create the homeless youth center that would provide social services and housing, with proposals due by 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15.