MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Seattle increasing investments in homeless hygiene services

Feb 19, 2018, 6:05 AM | Updated: Feb 20, 2018, 6:21 am

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(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The City of Seattle is boasting an increased investment in hygiene services for the region’s homeless, spending about $1 million more than last year.

According to the city, Seattle has increased funding at 21 out of 22 shelters for hygiene services. This means extended hours of operation, case workers, restrooms, laundry, and showers. The shelters are able to serve more than 1,400 people each night, and aim to be a “one-stop-shop” for people experiencing homelessness.

RELATED: Seattle charity cites homeless for damage to bins, revenue

On top of the shelters, the six sanctioned encampments are now providing hygiene services for 300 people each night.

Seattle requested proposals from its service providers in 2017, with the goal of converting shelters into “enhanced shelters,” according to a spokesperson with Seattle’s Human Services Department.

The results are:

  • 88 percent of shelters offer hygiene services; a 6 percent increase over 2017
  • 85 percent of shelter beds are “enhanced” (offering hygiene, meals, storage of possessions, extended hours, and case management); 44 percent of city-funded shelter beds were enhanced in 2017
  • Seattle is spending $6.1 million (recommended) in 2018 for centers with hygiene services (this does not include all the shelters, just the drop-in centers); that’s up from the $5.143 million spent in 2017 on drop-in centers.

Homeless hygiene services

Seattle is also promoting where those experiencing homelessness can find hygiene services, such as 11 day centers for drop-in clients. These locations serve all demographics (youth, singles, couples, families).

There are four community centers offering showers and restrooms (Delridge, Green Lake, Miller). There are also seven community pools with showers and restrooms for students and families experiencing homelessness.

The city also has three locations for the Low Income Housing Institute Urban Rest Stop that offer homeless hygiene services — the University District, downtown, and Ballard.

Seattle officials also note that there are portable toilets placed near transit stops (five total) and there are bathrooms at 27 public library locations.

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Seattle increasing investments in homeless hygiene services