The City’s new Navigation Center, a 75-bed enhanced shelter that accepts people with pets, partners, and possessions, as well as substance abuse disorders, welcomed its first clients today. Tenancy at the Navigation Center is only by referral from the City’s Navigation Team, comprised of specially trained Seattle Police officers, outreach workers and field coordinators who engage with people living unsheltered in Seattle.
During outreach efforts over the last several months, the Navigation Team identified about 20 people who, due to their individual circumstances, were offered referrals to move to the Navigation Center once it opened. This week the Navigation Team is reaching out to those individuals and will provide transportation to the Navigation Center, located at the Pearl Warren Building. The names have also been provided to Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) staff, the center operator, should the individuals make their own way to the center.
Since February 2017, the Navigation Team has been working with people living in unsanctioned encampments to offer individualized services and alternative living arrangements. As of July 7, the Navigation Team had made 3,091 total contacts to a total of 895 individuals. Of those 895 individuals, 321 accepted relocation to safer spaces, including shelter, authorized encampments and reconnecting with family or other support system. Further, 598 of 895 accepted some sort of service (67%), including case management support/referral; mental health support/referral; substance use disorder treatment referral; state ID acquisition assistance; medical support/referral; coordinated entry housing assessment (VISPDAT); King County Housing Authority lottery registration; employment support; benefits activation support; vehicle repairs; and basic needs.
The Navigation Center is modeled on the San Francisco Navigation Center, the first of its kind, 24/7, dormitory-style living facility that provides people living outside with shower, bathroom, laundry and dining facilities, a place to store their belongings, as well as round-the-clock case management, mental and behavioral health services, and connections to benefit programs and housing, all in one location. DESC will operate the 24-hour, low-barrier shelter while Operation Sack Lunch will provide food and meal support.