The City of Seattle’s Human Services Department (HSD) and King County’s Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) announce a new 24/7, enhanced deintensification shelter opening in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood. This new shelter will offer supportive services, housing navigation, and meets public health standards to protect clients and workers against the spread of COVID-19.
The shelter will begin operations in early November with the goal of achieving full occupancy by the first quarter of 2021. The shelter is projected to accommodate 275 shelter beds. The Salvation Army will move four existing programs—some of which were basic/overnight only shelters—into a new 24/7 shelter with supportive services and hygiene access. Programs being moved are the existing City of Seattle shelter programs at City Hall and Fisher Pavilion (which was a de-intensifying site for the City Hall program), and King County funded programs at 4th and Jefferson Street and the King County Administration Building. These moves also allows for Fisher Pavilion and City Hall to be available as severe winter weather shelters.
DCHS plans to relocate its sobering and recovery support program from its temporary location nearby at the Recovery Café into a section of the SODO site at some point in 2021.
The building, leased by King County, was originally designed as a quarantine, isolation, and recovery center for COVID-19 to help prevent the region’s medical centers from being overwhelmed. To date, the facility has not been needed for COVID-19 response.
The shelter has a high quality air filtration system, physical space, and hygiene access to handle both wildfire smoke and COVID-19. In September, the facility was temporarily used as a wildfire smoke shelter and served between 80-100 people 24 hours a day during that time.
This new shelter was funded through a combination of Federal and local emergency resources. King County’s lease on the building is for three years.
Additional Shelter Resources Coming Online
As part of the Mayor’s 2021 budget, the City plans to invest $34 million in new shelter resources in the coming months. These new resources will fund 300 temporary hotel rooms and 125 new units of enhanced 24/7 shelter. The Mayor’s proposal also includes an increase in funding for Rapid Rehousing and Diversion.
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