Beginning tomorrow, the City’s new Navigation Center, an enhanced shelter that accepts people with pets, partners, and possessions, as well as substance abuse disorders, will accept referrals from the Navigation Team. Today, Mayor Ed Murray and Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) Executive Director Daniel Malone toured the facility, located at the Pearl Warren Building. The Navigation Center is modeled after a similar facility in San Francisco, which caters to those living unsheltered who face barriers to traditional shelter.
“This is a major milestone in the City’s effort to make our homelessness services system laser focused on meeting individualized needs of people,” said Mayor Murray. “That’s how you build a pathway to stable housing. Through collaboration with service providers and community partners, we are now one step closer to putting people experiencing homelessness on that path.”
In June 2016 Mayor Murray signed an Executive Order directing the creation of a low-barrier, one-stop service center for unsheltered individuals to receive the customized support they need to move from the streets back into permanent homes.
The Navigation Center is modeled on the San Francisco Navigation Center, the first of its kind, 24/7, dormitory-style living facility that provides people living outside with shower, bathroom, laundry and dining facilities, a place to store their belongings, as well as round-the-clock case management, mental and behavioral health services, and connections to benefit programs and housing, all in one location.
The Seattle Navigation Center will be particularly suited to people who choose to stay in nearby encampments rather than shelters, where partners, pets or possessions are not typically allowed. The center will prioritize placement for currently unsheltered individuals who have been referred through the Navigation Team, comprised of specially trained social workers and SPD outreach efforts.
The DESC, in partnership with Operation Sack Lunch, were selected through a competitive process to operate Navigation Center. DESC will operate the 24-hour, low-barrier shelter while Operation Sack Lunch will provide food and meal support.