The City of Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) released the results of its homelessness funding for the first nine months of 2018. These results represent activity from January 1 through September 30, 2018. Agencies receiving city funds served 22, 311 families and individuals and supported 5,716 in leaving services to enter permanent housing (3,915) or in maintaining supportive housing (1,801).
City funds have helped more individuals and families to find housing in nine months (5,716), than all of 2017 (5,456).
Key Successes from January 1 – September 30, 2018:
- 22,311 households served, an increase of 7% compared to Q3 2017
- A total of 5,716 individual and families exits to housing – 3,915 exits to permanent housing and 1,801 maintaining housing. Surpassing all of 2017
- 30% more exits to permanent housing (907 more) compared to Q3 2017
- Doubled the number of Native American/Alaska Native individuals and families entering housing
New Investments in 2018
HSD supports thirty-three agencies, offering over one hundred-fifty programs, that serve and assist people experiencing homelessness across Seattle in 2018. The programs offer services to people who have a variety of needs – from homelessness prevention projects that help keep people housed, to emergency programs like shelters, to housing programs that assist people in making a connection to permanent housing. These services are integral to creating an effective homelessness response system.
Three new investments in 2018, made with Mayor Durkan’s leadership, have improved the system.
- Seattle invests in 700 more enhanced shelter beds in 2018, then 2017.
- HSD shifted investments in emergency shelter from basic, overnight beds to enhanced shelters which provide a consistent place to sleep, store belongings, and attend to personal hygiene.
- These programs have a higher percentage of success in helping people enter housing than overnight shelters, producing a rate of exits to permanent housing that is five times that of overnight shelter.
- Doubled the investment in Diversion, a housing program with promising results.
- HSD doubled the investment in Diversion to $2 million in 2018, and will expand the program again in 2019 with support from philanthropy
- Diversion offers short term financial assistance or case management that connects people to housing when their experience of homelessness is new
- It has a high rate of success, connecting 74% of households that leave Diversion programs to housing, and helped 663 individuals and families find housing in Q3
- Expanded capacity in emergency shelters and tiny house villages by 25% in the Path to 500
- Mayor Durkan invested proceeds in the sale of the city property into the rapid expansion of emergency shelters and tiny house villages to offer more people a safe place to stay every night.
- Since May, Seattle has invested in 416 additional safe spaces including:
- The first shelter that exclusively serves people living with HIV/AIDS at Bailey Boushay
- Three new tiny house villages with 73 new units: True Hope Village, Lake Union Village and Whitter Heights Village
- 80 new shelter beds in City Hall