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Serving the Community: Seattle’s COVID-19 Emergency Food Response

The City of Seattle recently released a report about the 2020-2021 emergency food response during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic and thanking the many partners involved in supporting our residents. Since the beginning, food security has been a top concern as the unprecedented health and economic crisis dramatically… [ Keep reading ]

Application Opens for $2.17 Million in Direct Cash Assistance for Hospitality Workers Impacted by COVID-19

Today, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced that $2.17 million in direct cash assistance is now available for hospitality workers who live and work in Seattle who have lost jobs or income due to COVID-19. People in need of assistance can visit this website to learn if they qualify and apply for resources. This funding is part of the Mayor and City Council’s December announcement to provide up to $5 million in new financial assistance for small businesses and hospitality industry workers impacted by the most recent COVID-19 restrictions. More than 1 million people have collected unemployment benefits in Washington state since the pandemic began. In Seattle alone, more than 600 restaurants and bars have been forced to close their doors for good due to the pandemic. (Click on entry to read more)

City of Seattle Reminds Residents and Businesses of Resources Available for COVID-19 Relief, Announces $1.7M in funding to support BIPOC Led Organizations Impacted by the Pandemic

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the City of Seattle has worked quickly to launch COVID-19 relief programs including rent relief, expanding shelter and services for people experiencing homelessness, grocery vouchers for working families, direct cash assistance for immigrants and refugees, and financial assistance to small businesses. Residents and businesses can find a list of existing COVID-19 relief resources and policies on this website.

New Statewide Restrictions on Social Gatherings and Businesses as COVID-19 Cases Surge

On November 15, Governor Jay Inslee issued new statewide restrictions on social gatherings and businesses in response to the surge of COVID-19 across Washington state. Seattle was the initial epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in America. Unlike the other Washington, every step of the way our local officials, residents, and businesses have understood how dangerous and deadly COVID-19 is to our communities. Following the advice of experts and public health officials, our collective actions have led to lowest cases and hospitalizations in the nation.

Mayor Durkan Announces up to $11.6 Million in Funding for Homeless Service Providers to Help Cover COVID-19 Costs in 2020

Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and the Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) today announced up to $11.6 million in funding for shelter, day-centers, and permanent supportive housing to help pay for costs incurred during the initial phases of the COVID-19 response and to maintain higher-level services throughout the pandemic. To date, these efforts have resulted in new enhanced shelter capacity, the opening of temporary spaces to de-intensify large congregate shelters, the ongoing operation of day-centers, and support to emergency shelters and permanent supportive housing to meet public health requirements. These program modifications have minimized shelter space loss during the pandemic and have helped homeless service programs to operate safely and without the large-scale spread of COVID-19 like many outbreaks seen in other cities. Throughout the City of Seattle homelessness response network, the City’s efforts have resulted in a positivity rate that is consistent with the rate of positive tests across the general population.

City and Community Organizations Made Services Available at the CHOP

The City of Seattle’s Human Services Department has been on the ground outside and inside the CHOP since June 23 to support the City’s ongoing efforts to keep the area safe. HSD outreach staff and contracted outreach workers were on site providing outreach and social service resources to those living unsheltered or demonstrating. HSD is continuing this outreach following the closure of the CHOP and Cal Anderson Park earlier today. The area in and around Cal Anderson has historically been an area where unsheltered individuals stay overnight. These unsheltered communities have remained in the area throughout the protest. This outreach effort began following conversations between City leaders, CHOP, Black Lives Matter, and other community leaders and organizers, to ensure community members and demonstrators have access to services. June 23 through today, HSD has made 172 engagements (duplicated) with unhoused individuals, 36 referrals to shelter, and 30 connections to service providers. These figures are preliminary and provide a best snapshot of available data. Outreach staff have also made travel arrangements, provided diversion funds such as hotel vouchers and handed out basic needs, including bottled water and snacks.