A new shelter for women experiencing homelessness will open today, February 12, and will operate at the First Presbyterian Church (1013 8th Ave., Seattle, WA 98104), creating 60 new COVID-safe shelter beds. Initially, it will operate as an overnight only shelter from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. but will become a 24/7 enhanced shelter in the coming weeks.
Women’s Housing, Equality and Enhancement League (WHEEL) will operate the shelter, which will include onsite case management and housing navigation services. The space includes showers, a dining area, nurse’s station, case manager’s office and storage.
Referrals will be coordinated by the WHEEL network, Women’s Referral Center, and HOPE Team. The shelter will also accept self-referrals. The shelter spaces will meet COVID-19 safety protocols recommended by Public Health-Seattle & King County and the Centers for Disease Control which call for COVID-19 screening for guests, expanded space to allow physical distancing, hygiene access, and increased sanitation guidelines.
As part of the Mayor’s 2021 budget, the City plans to invest $34 million in new shelter resources this year. 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.