Earlier this month, the City of Seattle’s Human Services Department (HSD) put into action its severe winter weather response plan to create safe and warm places for people in need during the cold weather and storms. This action, in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation, created 450 additional beds for people living unsheltered. HSD opened or expanded emergency shelter at Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, City Hall, Seattle Municipal Tower, King County Administrative Building, and Bitter Lake Community Center. The Bertha Knight Landes room at City Hall served as an early morning warming shelter as well. Mary’s Place provided shelter for families with children, and all City-funded sheltering programs were asked to expand and provide shelter so that no one would be turned away.
Additionally, the Navigation Team focused on outreach services in efforts to connect people to shelter and resources. The team made 196 site visits during the severe weather, making over 550 contacts with people living unsheltered. The team transported 44 people to shelter and made 77 referrals to emergency shelters during the course of the week.
As the weather conditions improved, emergency resources were ramped down to allow for programs and buildings to return to regular daily use. The following data visualizations illustrate the availability and resources used during this period:
*Note that figures are subject to change.