addressing homelessness
addressing homelessness

Addressing Homelessness

The city of Seattle is committed to addressing the homelessness crisis in Seattle.   On any given night in Seattle, 2,813 are living unsheltered in our community.   To address this, each year HSD spends $40.84 million to assist single adults, youth, young adults, and families, survivors of domestic violence, older adults and veterans who are currently at-risk of or experiencing homelessness.

Key Actions

  • Mayor Murray announced July 6th 2016,  that a new mobile medical clinic began operations this month to help address the Homeless State of Emergency, offering better access to medical, mental health and chemical dependency services at various sites around Seattle. The new van makes daily scheduled visits to food banks, tent cities, social service agencies and other locations, where clients can receive walk-in medical care.
  • On June 9, 2016, Mayor Murray announced the launch of an innovative new shelter modeled after the San Francisco Navigation Center. This low-barrier, one-stop service center for individuals without shelter will aim to connect the unsheltered with the customized support they need to move from the streets back into permanent homes.The effort is funded in part by $600,000 in State contributions and $600,000 in private donations. In partnership with United Way, a fund has been established to collect additional private donations. You can donate here
  • In response to the continued crisis of homelessness on the streets of Seattle, on January 19, 2016,  Mayor Ed Murray issued an emergency order to expedite the siting of two safe lots in Ballard and Delridge for homeless individuals and families living in recreational vehicles and cars.
  • On November 2, 2015, Mayor Murray signed a Proclamation of Civil Emergency and Executive Constantine signed a Local Proclamation of Emergency in response to the growing crisis. Mayor Murray also today outlined a $5.3 million package to respond to the growing demand for services. For more information, see details of the new City investments and Frequently Asked Questions
  • In November 2, 2015, HSD and its partner DESC opened a new shelter in a City-owned building on Roy Street. In July, City departments began working to convert a vacant Seattle City Light building at Roy Street into an emergency shelter to help serve 100 individuals living unsheltered on Seattle streets. 
  • In November 2015 the HSD and its contracted operators opened the two homeless encampments on City-owned property. The two encampments combined will provide shelter for 132 individuals.  View Frequently Asked Questions.
  • HSD helped Mary's Place, a shelter for homeless families, move into a vacant City-owned property in North Seattle in June of this year.
  • Mayor Murray secured funding for a 15-bed youth shelter (Peace for the Street by Kids from the Streets) as a temporary cold weather shelter and as overflow for other youth serving shelters in the city.  Later, Murray was able to secure another funding increase to allow PSKS to increase to 20 beds and remain open year round.
  • In April 2015, HSD announced $620,000 in funding for rapid rehousing services for non-chronically homeless single adults.
  • In March, Seattle City Council unanimously passed Mayor Murray's ordinance allowing for the first time legal, authorized encampments.
  • Last year, Murray charged the Human Services Dept. with conducting a 'Homeless Investment Analysis' to provide an in depth look at the City's current and historical investments to prevent and end homelessness. As a recommendation in the Homeless Investment Analysis, HSD will shift its investments and service provisions to a progressive engagement model, to deliver a portfolio of services through a pilot with selected service providers.  This progressive engagement model combines a portfolio of services aimed at making homelessness rare, brief, and one-time, including diversion, shelter, rapid rehousing, housing search and employment navigation.  As a result administrative efficiencies will be created through a single contract for combined services.
  • Mayor Murray remains committed to the goal of ending veteran homelessness by 2016.  
  • In the fall of 2014, Mayor Murray formed the Emergency Task Force on Unsheltered Homelessness and tasked the group with making recommendations to help the growing number of people who are living on the streets to find shelter for the winter.