Seattle interactive map shows open, available hygiene facilities
The city of Seattle has been increasing hygiene access for homeless residents during the COVID-19 crisis, and there is now an interactive map to show all open and available publicly funded hygiene facilities for people in need on the Human Services Department website.
On Wednesday, city leaders also announced the addition of two shower trailers, one at King Street Station five days a week and a mobile shower trailer to be hosted in Lake City and Seattle Center.
Each shower trailer has three shower stalls plus a toilet and a sink. The trailers will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Clients can place a reservation 30 minutes before operations begin, and the showers, toilets, and sinks will be sanitized after each use. The Millionair Club is going to staff and maintain the trailers.
“Millionair Club Charity is excited to partner with Seattle Public Utilities and provide job opportunities to men and women desperately in need of work right now. We believe that working together to maintain sustainable hygiene trailers will help our most vulnerable community members make it through this crisis while slowing further spread of the virus,” said Jim Miller, Executive Director of Millionair Club Charity. “The MCC workers, many of whom are unstably housed, will not only receive life-changing wages, but will also find purpose and hope through gainful employment.”
King Street Station will also have a hygiene station with two portable toilets and a handwashing station available 24/7.
“The City of Seattle has taken significant steps to help our most vulnerable neighbors throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. From repurposing City facilities into 24/7 shelters to working with our King County partners on supporting wrap-around services that allow residents to temporarily reside in hotels outside of the City to providing meals and increasing access to hygiene services, the City of Seattle is committed to keeping our most vulnerable safe throughout this pandemic,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan. “Access to hygiene is a critical component to reducing spread of COVID-19 throughout our community.”
As of this week, there will be more than 165 locations where hygiene resources are available, including 89 that are open 24/7 and include toilets. The HSD’s map will be updated weekly to show any closures.
“Hygiene is a basic need and more important than ever during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Mami Hara, General Manager of Seattle Public Utilities. “We’re so pleased to play a role in supporting our neighbors in their need for showers, handwashing stations and portable toilets during this critical time.”
In other sanitation news, faculty members at the University of Washington, in partnership with a Seattle architect and Real Change, have launched the Seattle Street Sink project. The project installed a handwashing station for the University District homeless community, which opened this week between Northeast 42nd and 43rd Streets. The nearby Roots Young Adult Shelter is the “host” of the sink.
The team is hoping to find additional sites in the city to install more street sinks.