Navigation Center – Can it work in Seattle?

We previously wrote about some innovative approaches Seattle was considering that were utilized by other major cities to address the growing homelessness crisis. One of these solutions was the Navigation Center model from San Francisco. This model was used as a way to migrate entire encampments indoors and quickly get homeless individuals much-needed mental health services, housing, and other resources. According to San Francisco’s Navigation Center, they served 399 people in one year: 268 had transitioned to traditional housing while 128 moved into supportive housing. Mayor Ed Murray announced in June that a pilot project like this would be installed in Seattle by the end of 2016. This came soon after news the City planned on clearing out “The Jungle,” Seattle’s large homeless encampment, citing concerns over unsanitary conditions and crime. Unfortunately the opening of Seattle’s Navigation Center is now delayed by the City’s inability to secure a facility for the project. Seattle Human Services estimate a site should be identified “fairly soon” and a new timeline will be known then. This delay is particularly concerning in light of the recent winter weather and the fact 3,000 people still remain without shelter in the Seattle area.

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