Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in King County, the City of Seattle’s Navigation Team has stepped-up its outreach efforts to assist vulnerable people living unsheltered through the crisis.
To limit the spread of COVID-19 among unsheltered individuals, the Navigation Team has focused on sharing essential public health information through one-on-one interactions , distributing public health flyers, and providing hundreds of hygiene kits through direct engagement. This work is being done in parallel with other direct engagements, such as connecting individuals to essential services and making referrals to shelter.
Since March 1, the Navigation Team has:
(The above figures are preliminary and may include duplicative data, however hygiene kits are unique. Shelter referrals for all outreach providers, including the Navigation Team, have been impacted during the COVID-19 crisis.)
This work by the Navigation Team to combat the spread of COVID-19 has included supporting its Seattle Human Service Department (HSD) and King County Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) partners with the opening of new shelter spaces for individuals experiencing homelessness. Navigation Team members have assisted with the set-up and operation of Fisher Pavilion and Exhibition Hall at Seattle Center, Miller Community Center, and Garfield Community Center.
In addition to fighting the spread of COVID-19 among vulnerable people living unsheltered, the Navigation Team has been helping address the recent increase in the number of hepatitis A cases in Seattle. Partnering with Public Health Seattle King County (PHSKC), the Navigation Team has conducted outreach in impacted areas, providing hepatitis A information and coordinating vaccines. This work is ongoing and will continue in support of PHSKC’s response to hepatitis A.
The Navigation remains one of the City’s front-line responses and its continued work supports the Human Services Department Continuity of Operations Plan, which requires continued efforts to support people living unsheltered during a crisis.