The Navigation Team, a group of outreach workers and specially-trained police officers, has been out at 7312 2nd Ave. SW., a WSDOT parcel of property that will be used for staging I-5 construction work this summer. On May 18, Navigation Team members began talking with campers living in their RVs at the site about moving to alternatives that would help them on a path toward housing. Working in close contact with WSDOT, the City’s outreach team posted notification on May 24 that the site would be closed on Thursday, June 1. Each day, Navigation Team members went to the site to talk to the people gathered there.
It often takes more than one contact for people living homeless to talk with the Navigation Team. In this case, there were 87 contacts beginning in mid-May with 26 individuals. After repeated visits by outreach team members, there were only a few remaining at the time of closure, more than two weeks later. Six individuals moved to alternative living arrangements (primarily spaces at City-sanctioned encampments) offered through the Navigation Team, 10 accepted services such as medical support, case management services, or assistance with their RV, and nine people declined services all together. In addition, the Navigation Team remains in contact with one person who left the site and is considering an alternative living situation.