Today, Mayor Ed Murray announced plans to partner with the Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) to fund operations of a new 100 bed shelter in a City of Seattle-owned property.
“Homelessness is a crisis that we must address in a strategic and systematic way. Building off of the already strong relationship the City has with DESC, today’s announcement will help provide a safe, secure shelter for 100 people who would otherwise be on the streets,” said Mayor Murray. “What’s more, we are doing it by leveraging existing City resources and working with DESC to ensure that those in need are receiving the services and support they need to move on a path towards permanent housing.”
“With overwhelming need for shelter capacity for Seattle’s homeless, I am pleased that this collaboration will provide 100 people safe and secure temporary housing as opposed to sleeping unsheltered on Seattle streets,” said Daniel Malone, Deputy Director, Downtown Emergency Service Center. “I am proud of DESC’s long-standing relationship with the City of Seattle and I am excited about this new endeavor.”
The City has allocated a total of $350,000 to fund this project and is working with the Human Services Department and Finance and Administrative Services Department to identify a City-owned property that is appropriate for temporary housing. This new facility is expected to open its doors in late summer 2015.
This announcement aligns with the Homeless Investment Analysis, which highlighted the need to work with service providers in a new, collaborative manner to ensure Seattle’s unsheltered homeless residents can quickly access shelter, be matched with a housing resource, and receive assistance in finding permanent, affordable housing.
The City will work with DESC to test a portfolio of services for shelter residents with the goal of getting them on the path to permanent housing within the federal goal of 20 days.
Today’s announcement is also in response to the recommendation by the Mayor’s Task Force on Unsheltered Homelessness to consider the use of City-owned facilities and shelters. This task force was created in October 2014 to develop recommendations addressing the growing number of people experiencing homelessness in Seattle.