Post partly adapted from a Seattle Public Utilities At Your Service blog post
The City of Seattle is set to deploy two shower trailers in locations across the City to support the hygiene needs for homeless residents within their communities. King Street Station will host a shower trailer five days per week, and a mobile shower trailer will be hosted in Lake City and Seattle Center, with more locations under consideration. King Street Station will also receive a hygiene station. In addition, a new hygiene map, located on the Seattle Human Services public website, that represents all open and available facilities was launched with this effort.
“The City of Seattle has taken significant steps to help our most vulnerable neighbors throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. From repurposing City facilities into 24/7 shelters to working with our King County partners on supporting wrap-around services that allow residents to temporarily reside in hotels outside of the City to providing meals and increasing access to hygiene services, the City of Seattle is committed to keeping our most vulnerable safe throughout this pandemic,” said Mayor Jenny A. Durkan. “Access to hygiene is a critical component to reducing spread of COVID-19 throughout our community.”
Shower Trailers Deploying in Seattle
Each shower trailer includes three shower stalls, three toilets and three sinks. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding holidays. Clients can place reservations 30 minutes before operations begin and showers, toilets and sinks will be sanitized after each use. The King Street Station will be available Monday to Friday, scheduled to begin May 22. The roving trailer will be hosted two consecutive days per week at Seattle Center beginning May 21 and 22, but typically Tuesdays and Wednesdays beginning May 26. Lake City will host on Saturday and Sunday beginning May 30 but additional locations are under consideration and will be announced soon. The City has contracted with the Millionair Club to staff and maintain the trailers.
The additional hygiene station at King Street Station consists of two portable toilets and a handwashing station with 24/7 access. Service providers, Department of Neighborhoods, Seattle Human Services, Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Facilities and Administrative Services, and Public Health – Seattle & King County were consulted to help determine the most high-need locations for placement.
“Hygiene is a basic need and more important than ever during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Mami Hara, General Manager of Seattle Public Utilities. “We’re so pleased to play a role in supporting our neighbors in their need for showers, handwashing stations and portable toilets during this critical time.”
While most businesses are considered “non-essential” as part of Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order and have temporarily closed, many locations where people experiencing homelessness met their hygiene needs are temporarily unavailable. Recognizing that access to hygiene resources is a critical component of protecting communities from COVID-19 spread, the City has added 13 hygiene stations and conducted an extensive accounting of every City-funded hygiene resource available. As of May 20, Seattle Parks & Recreation, Seattle Public Utilities, The Seattle Public Library, and city-sponsored day centers account for 165+ locations where hygiene resources are available, including 89 24/7 hygiene facilities that include toilets. Our new hygiene map includes all locations that are open and will be updated weekly, as it pertains to maintenance and vandalism-related closures.
City Launches Interactive Hygiene Map Highlighting All Publicly Funded Hygiene Facilities Available to People In Need During COVID-19 Crisis
“Many of our providers and neighborhood organizations have not been able to support people in need during this time due to COVID-19. By deploying more hygiene resources across Seattle, we are stepping in help fill this gap,” said Jason Johnson, Director of the Human Services Department. “Thank you to Seattle Public Utilities for leading this important work to ensure that people have more access to meet their most basic needs.”
Public Health Support for Staff and Clients in Congregate Settings
King County TV recently shared this short video on how Public Health—Seattle & King County is working to control the spread of COVID-19 in congregate settings (long term care facilities, homeless shelters and other vulnerable sites).
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.