Kings Inn and Executive Hotel Pacific add over 200 new units for unsheltered individuals and couples
This past week, the City of Seattle announced the opening of two temporary hotel shelters as part of the streets to housing investments first announced by Mayor Jenny A. Durkan on October 1, 2020 and passed by City Council on November 23, 2020. The City is using one-time federal funding to launch this program with a goal of moving hundreds of individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness into shelter and on to permanent housing.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have invested an unprecedented amount of resources in creating a safer 24/7 enhanced shelter system, providing food access, hygiene resources, and all levels of support for our homeless neighbors,” said Mayor Durkan. “Homelessness requires a range of strategies that meet individuals wherever they intersect with housing insecurity, and temporary shelter coupled with rapid rehousing and permanent supportive housing will help individuals successfully navigate through our system. With today’s opening, we will bring more people inside and help them on the path towards stable housing.”
The Kings Inn opened yesterday as a 24/7 enhanced hotel shelter, with 66 rooms and wraparound services on site focused on serving unhoused American Indian/Alaska Native people. The Chief Seattle Club (CSC) will operate the shelter and provide case management, housing navigation, and culturally appropriate services designed to support individuals on their path to permanent housing. Partners include the Seattle Indian Health Board for COVID-19 vaccines/testing and Medically Assisted Treatment; Cowlitz Tribal Health Services for mental health programs; and Operation Sack Lunch including traditional indigenous foods. Staff will be on-site 24/7, with 91 percent identifying as American Indian/Alaska Native.
Chief Seattle Club will also serve as the provider for the shelter’s dedicated rapid re-housing (RRH) program.
Per the 2020 Point-In-Time Count, American Indian/Alaska Native peoples are disproportionately represented in King County homelessness—representing 27 percent of the unsheltered homeless community, while being only one percent of residents county-wide.
“We are grateful to partner with the City of Seattle to find solutions for our relatives who have been living in the most extreme conditions throughout the winter and pandemic,” said Derrick Belgarde, Deputy Director of Chief Seattle Club. “It is going to take commitments like this from all levels of government if we are going to impact homelessness.”
Executive Hotel Pacific
Last week, the City opened the Executive Hotel Pacific, using all 155 rooms, to support people experiencing homelessness on their path to housing. The temporary hotel shelter is operated by the Low Income Housing Institute with case management and housing navigation services designed to meet the needs of people facing barriers to housing.
The hotels are leased for 12 months, including one month for ramp-up and one month for ramp-down. The City’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) oversaw the procurement and contracting process, working with the Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) to identify key program needs. This includes hotel size and location; floor plans for rooms and common areas; cost; COVID-19 safety; speed of program activation; and facility maintenance.
The HOPE Team will match individuals to services and/or shelters that accommodate an individual’s particular needs, in collaboration with the City’s contracted outreach providers.
The City is using one-time federal funding to launch this program with the goal of ending a client’s experience with homelessness through placement in permanent housing. A range of strategies will be used including nationally recognized best practices like rapid rehousing and permanent supportive housing.
Permanent Housing Solutions
Shelter is ultimately a short-term strategy bringing individuals off the streets until permanent housing options are available. City of Seattle investments in RRH, a nationally proven model for ending homelessness, continue to yield successful outcomes, with 81% of RRH participants exiting the program to permanent housing in 2020. This investment will support more than 230 households to secure permanent housing. In addition, the City will bring on new Permanent Supportive Housing units in 2021. The City’s surge funding will support transitioning individuals to this housing option through case management and housing navigation services. PSH, another nationally recognized strategy, has a 96% success rate of ending long-rerm, chronic homelessness.
Additional Temporary Hotel Shelter
The City has already identified a third potential hotel through a competitive procurement process and will begin contracting negotiations. The City will continue moving forward with identifying a service provider to operate the facility. Mayor Durkan is committed to working with Council, regional and state partners to provide resources ensuring a permanent housing solution for these clients.