Seattle’s new Navigation Center up and running and at full capacity

Written by on September 1, 2017 in Local and National News - Comments Off

By City of Seattle

Seattle’s new Navigation Center, an enhanced shelter that accepts people with pets, partners and possessions, as well as substance use disorders, has opened its doors to clients. A dormitory-style living facility that provides shower, bathroom,and laundry facilities, as well as meals and a place to store personal belongings, Seattle’s Navigation Center model is important as the city adopts more low-barrier, 24/7 shelters.

At the end of the first day of operation, July 12, the Downtown Emergency Service Center had welcomed eight people. It’s currently at full capacity, housing 75 guests, five dogs and three cats.

Homelessness disproportionately affects people of color and the LGBTQ community when compared to their representation in Seattle’s overall population. African Americans are five times and Native Americans are seven times more likely to be homeless, according to a recent survey conducted by the Human Services Department. Recognizing these disparities, it is the City’s goal that the Navigation Center will serve people who most disproportionately experience homelessness.

Enrollment at the Navigation Center is only by referral by the City’s Navigation Team, comprised of specially trained Seattle Police officers, outreach workers through REACH and field coordinators who engage with people living unsheltered in Seattle. In the days leading up to the opening, REACH and the Navigation Team Officers began working to reconnect with people who had received referrals during the Navigation Team’s intensive outreach efforts at unsanctioned encampments over the past several months.

The City has funded an additional low-barrier shelter in the First Hill neighborhood that opened Aug. 30.

Comments are closed.