In response to record breaking heat, the City of Seattle’s Human Services Department (HSD) activated it’s inclement weather plan to support people experiencing homelessness.
On Saturday, June 26, Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center was activated as a 24-hour cooling shelter and was open through the morning of Tuesday, June 29, to provide relief from the elements for those living unsheltered. The shelter was operated by The Salvation Army, the department’s emergency shelter provider, and could accommodate pets. Meals were provided by OSL (formerly known as Operation Sack Lunch) and HSD worked with Public Health – Seattle & King County to provide guests with information on the COVID-19 vaccine.
The temporary cooling shelter was below half-capacity over the weekend until mid-afternoon on Monday, June 28, when it was serving 48 individuals experiencing homelessness. The shelter was at capacity overnight on Monday with 80 guests, however, no one was turned away. The shelter also was able to accommodate those interested in using the facility for only during the day.
Also on June 26, HSD opened a temporary day center in White Center at The Salvation Army Seattle White Center Community Center with guest capacity for 25 individuals and open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through Tuesday, June 29.
In partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) and Lake City Partners Ending Homelessness, HSD supported extended hours over the weekend for a preexisting day center at the Lake City Community Center. This effort was aided by SPR procuring portable evaporative cooling units for the site. On Sunday, June 27, 41 people were served at this site.
HSD provider partner Seattle Indian Center extended the hours at their Drop-In Center to serve as a cooling center and opened on Saturday, June 26 and Sunday, June 27.
The HOPE Team activated their emergency response outreach on Friday, June 25, and System Navigators were in the field over the weekend through Monday, June 28, performing wellness checks, handing out water and other basic needs supplies, passing out flyers about the available cooling shelter and services, and offering transportation to cooling center locations. This work was done in coordination with Heath One and other City department partners. The HOPE Team facilitated the sharing of information with provider partners on the City’s heat response efforts and available cooling center locations and resources for people living unsheltered.
From June 25 through June 28, the HOPE Team:
- Had 192 engagements with individuals experiencing homelessness,
- Handed out 619 bottles of water,
- Provided 135 basic needs supplies,
- Passed out 220 cooling shelter/day center flyers information flyers,
- Referred 10 individuals to City funded shelters,
- Referred 20 individuals to the temporary cooling shelter,
- Provided 30 bus tickets to access cooling shelter/centers, and
- Gave three individuals direct transportation to the temporary cooling shelter
Areas visited by System Navigators included: 4th Ave & Yesler Way, 9th Ave & Denny Way, Green Lake Park, Lower Woodland Park, 3rd Ave S & S Royal Brougham Way, Georgetown, 6th Ave & Cherry St, University District, 2nd Ave & Cedar St, 9th Ave & E Roy St, 8th Ave & Pike St, Tashkent Park.