Seattle Parks and Recreation to restore the public space for a future community activation
After two months of engagement, a JustCARE-led effort at the Pioneer Square Pergola, in partnership with the Human Service Department’s HOPE Team, resulted in 33 shelter referrals to City-funded JustCARE hotel rooms and HOPE Team shelter resources. The City’s collaboration at this location with the Public Defender Association’s (PDA) JustCARE program began with the goal of connecting all those residing in a large encampment near the Pergola into shelter. Today, the last two individuals onsite were referred to shelter.
Outreach to the Pergola encampment resulted in:
- 20 JustCARE referrals to their hotel-based shelter resources
- 12 HOPE Team referrals to City-funded shelters
- 1 JustCARE referral to a City-funded shelter
- 7 people approved into the JustCARE program who voluntarily relocated to a location of their choosing and will have an opportunity to receive placement when/if located
- 4 people receiving shelter offers but ultimately voluntarily relocating
Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) have temporarily closed the site as they clean and restore the public space including cleaning and repairing benches, power washing pavers, repairing any trip hazards, rodent control, and electrical repairs. Once the work is completed, SPR will program the space with regular activities including buskers and park concierge staff.
In July, the City announced a partnership with JustCARE to fund 89 hotel-based shelter spaces through June 2022. The funding includes behavioral health supports. In addition, King County and the City of Seattle have jointly invested $15 million to continue JustCARE’s operations of 150 existing hotel-based shelter rooms focused on persons in Pioneer Square and Chinatown-International District.
Throughout the year, the HOPE Team and its outreach provider partners have engaged those experiencing homelessness in the area around Pioneer Square Pergola. In addition to JustCARE’s referrals, year-to-date the HOPE Team has made 27 shelter referrals from the vicinity in partnership with five different outreach provider partners. Almost all these referrals have been to 24/7 enhanced shelters with wraparound onsite services including case management and housing navigation to help end a person’s experience with homelessness.
The HOPE Team’s collaboration with JustCARE at the Pergola builds on recent successful outreach efforts at City Hall Park in August and Downtown along 3rd Ave in June. At City Hall Park and 3rd Avenue, of the 111 successful referrals combined, 52 were referred by the HOPE Team to City-funded tiny houses and 24/7 enhanced shelters.
So far this year, the HOPE Team has made 996 referrals to shelter in partnership with 26 different outreach providers and service organizations.
With additional shelter coming online, the City will continue to focus on outreach and referrals to some of the City’s largest encampments including on Seattle Public Schools property near Broadview Thomson and in Bitter Lake Park, Ballard Commons, and Green Lake, in addition to smaller encampments.