COVID-19 has forced us to take unprecedented measures to help stop the spread of the deadly disease. One group especially vulnerable is the homeless population. The City of Seattle, under Mayor Jenny A. Durkan, has taken unprecedented measures to open up as many shelter spaces as possible during this COVID-19 outbreak.
The city has opened up 95 units of new shelter capacity to help people who are currently living unsheltered:
- 25 units at Cherry Hill – Spirit Village in the Central District;
- 20 additional units at Lake Union Village; and
- Up to 50 units announced today at Lakefront Community House in Bitter Lake.
We also opened additional spaces inside of community centers and at Seattle Center so that we can de-intensify the number of people who are living in existing congregate shelter spaces. In order to combat the spread of COVID-19, we wanted to make more spaces available so that we could re-distribute those large populations to more spaces so that people weren’t sleeping so close to one another.
For example, we’re working with The Salvation Army, who manages our City Hall shelter which serves 180 people every night. We took half of that population and made use of Fisher Pavilion, at Seattle Center, so that shelter stayers had more space. It now provides 24/7 care and we’re able to provide meals there too, so we make sure that the individuals staying here have two solid meals per day and can “Stay Home, Stay Safe” just as we are all being asked to do.
THANK YOU to Seattle Channel and the City staff and community providers who have been going the extra mile during this crisis:
- Seattle Mayor’s Office
- Public Health — Seattle & King County
- Seattle Parks & Recreation
- Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
- Seattle Center
- Seattle Finance and Administrative Services
- Seattle Office of Emergency Management
- Seattle Information Technology
- King County Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS)
- Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI)
- The Salvation Army
- Downtown Emergency Services Center (DESC)
- Compass Housing
- Catholic Community Services/WHEEL
Where to get the most up-to-date public health information
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), DOH, and PHSKC have issued specific guidance to help communities and businesses prepare. You can find guidance for the general public, schools, workplaces and employers, travelers and health care professionals as well as a more detailed Q&A here.
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), CDC
- Novel Coronavirus Outbreak 2020, Washington State Dept. of Health
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), Public Health – Seattle & King County