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On the DCHS Blog: Supporting King County residents experiencing homelessness to help slow the spread of COVID-19

Over on the King County Department of Community and Health Services blog, Cultivating Connections, yesterday’s entry details how in response to COVID-19 three agencies are closely coordinating efforts and collaborating to support King County residents experiencing homelessness: Public Health-Seattle & King County (PHSKC) and its Healthcare for the Homeless Network (HCHN) and Environment Health Division; King County through the Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS), Facilities Management Division (FMD), and METRO; and the City of Seattle’s Human Services Department (HSD). Coordinated efforts focus on: Supporting existing homeless services providers to maintain capacity and care for people experiencing homelessness Hygiene and sanitation to prevent or slow the spread of the virus, including provider training and centralized supply purchasing and distribution Response plan for assistance for people who become sick with COVID-19 who cannot care for themselves in home settings Siting and staffing facilities for quarantine, isolation and congregate recovery—for all who cannot care for themselves in home settings, including people experiencing homelessness.

City to Open Exhibition Hall Shelter for Current High Capacity Shelters

The City of Seattle’s Human Services Department (HSD) and the Downtown Emergency Services Center (DESC) today announced the Exhibition Hall at Seattle Center (301 Mercer St, Seattle, WA 98109) will be activated as a preventative measure to best align with Public Health Seattle-King County guidance (PHSKC) in response to COVID-19. The Exhibition Hall will open on Monday, March 9. At this time, there are no known COVID-19 cases at the DESC Main Shelter or any other Seattle shelter at the time. This announcement is one of many steps City and County officials are taking to address COVID-19, with more announcements likely in the future. The Exhibition Hall is most often activated during severe weather events and is part of the City’s overall public health response planning. The Exhibition Hall shelter will be available for agency-selected DESC Main Shelter clients—one of the busiest and largest overnight shelters in Seattle serving a high number of vulnerable individuals—in an effort to limit potential COVID-19 exposure. Some individuals from DESC’s Queen Anne shelter may be moved as well. DESC is identifying male clients that can be served at the Exhibition Hall, which will accommodate people that are relatively healthy and able to access services independently. Additionally, the City is taking steps to ensure sanitation and hygiene standards at Seattle shelters are in alignment with updated recommendations from the Center for Disease and Control (CDC) and PHSKC.

Mayor Durkan Employs New Measures to Reduce Exposure of COVID-19 to Our Neighbors Experiencing Homelessness

As reported by the Office of the Mayor today… Following Tuesday’s Proclamation of Civil Emergency, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan unveiled new measures in the City of Seattle to prepare for the potential spread of COVID-19 amongst individuals experiencing homelessness by increasing shelter resources during this public health emergency. “We know we need to take additional measures to bring more of our unsheltered community inside. Our neighbors experiencing homelessness are at greater risk of exposure to COVID-19, and as a City, region, and Country we must act with urgency to address the ongoing impacts of this public health crisis,” said Mayor Durkan. “Working in partnership with public health officials and King County, we will continue to work with providers to help individuals currently in our shelters as well as expand shelter locations and resources for our most vulnerable individuals.”

COVID-19: Helping All Seattle Residents Stay Informed

Today we want to help more Seattle residents stay informed about COVID-19 by sharing this excellent blog post by Joaquin Uy from the Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs which showcases community-reviewed translations of important Public Health recommendations as part of their mission to expand language access for Seattle residents:

Reminder: Seattle Shelters and Day Centers

The World Health Organization reminds everyone that the best way to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the flu, and other communicable diseases is by following basic hygiene steps regularly: Wash your hands frequently Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze (and… [ Keep reading ]

Seattle Human Services Response to COVID-19

The Washington State Department of Health announced several new cases of COVID-19, also known as novel coronavirus, in King and Snohomish Counties. The first case was announced in Seattle on March 1, 2020. You can learn of new developments in the days and weeks ahead by visiting Public Health — Seattle King County and Washington State Department of Health. We are providing information on what the Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) is doing in preparation and in response to COVID-19 in communities across Seattle and King County. If a significant expansion of services is required, the City will also need significant resources from the state and federal government will be necessary to assist our most vulnerable.

2020 Geographic Specific – Delridge, Georgetown, South Park – Food Bank Services RFP

The Youth and Family Empowerment (YFE) Division of the City of Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) is pleased to announce the availability of up to $111,686 of Seattle Sweetened Beverage Tax (SBT) funding for the 2020 Geographic Specific – Delridge, Georgetown, South Park – Food Bank Services Request for Proposal (RFP).


Standing alongside community members, public health professionals, and service providers, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today announced the City of Seattle’s new efforts to raise awareness regarding fentanyl and counterfeit pills. The City of Seattle, in partnership with community-based organizations, will convene a series of 25 naloxone trainings to distribute 700 City-purchased naloxone kits. Naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, is a nasal spray that can be used to reverse an opioid-involved overdose. Investment in and distribution of naloxone kits is an overdose reversal medication that has been endorsed by the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Medical Association.

Update: New Severe Winter Shelter Availability

HSD is activating an additional shelter at the Seattle Municipal Tower (SMT), which is located at 700 5th Ave. This shelter is also available to adults and pets and no one will be turned away. People may arrive at 7pm and wait inside for the shelter to open at 8pm. The SMT shelter will operate through Friday morning, January 17.  HSD and Seattle Parks and Recreation are also opening an overnight shelter at the Bitter Lake Community Center, which is located at 13035 Linden Ave N. The shelter will open this evening at 7pm and run continuously as a warming center and overnight shelter for families with children and people living in vehicles. Single adults and couples are welcome at this facility as well.  This shelter will operate 24 hours a day beginning TONIGHT.

Severe Weather Shelter will open SUNDAY NIGHT JAN 12th through SUNDAY NIGHT JAN 19th

HELP US SPREAD THE WORD! In anticipation of forecasted snow and extreme temperatures, the City of Seattle will open a severe weather shelter for adults (all genders) starting Sunday night, January 12th through Sunday night, January 19th at the Exhibition Hall at the Seattle Center – 301 Mercer Street –… [ Keep reading ]