Addressing Homelessness

HSD's Homeless Strategy and Investment (HSI) Division focuses on assisting people in securing permanent housing to end their experiences of homelessness. Services are provided in three investment areas—prevention, emergency response, and housing—whereby service providers assist people who are at imminent risk of falling into homelessness or who are living without housing.

Who is experiencing homelessness in Seattle?

The 2020 Point-in-Time count for Seattle/King County found 11,751 people experiencing homelessness on one night in January, with 53 percent sheltered and 47 percent unsheltered. The total reflects a five percent increase compared to the 2019 Count. Newly updated data dashboards show numbers of most populations seeking homelessness services have remained steady over the past three years, while veteran and youth and young adult homelessness continue to see reductions. The full Count Us In report includes more detailed information on the results, including a sub-regional breakdown and a deeper analysis of the Count Us In survey responses.

What is the City of Seattle doing about encampments?

As part of the approved 2021 budget, the City updated its encampment outreach response from the Navigation Team to the Homelessness Outreach and Provider Ecosystem (HOPE) Team. The HOPE Team coordinates efforts by outreach and shelter providers, City departments, and community to help people living unsheltered in Seattle receive the outreach, care, and connections to shelters they need to find a path to stable housing. The HOPE Team coordinates referrals made by outreach providers to City-funded shelters, including the more than 350 new shelter resources coming online this year.

Click here to learn more about the HOPE Team.

How is the City addressing homelessness?

  • Seattle's policy framework for addressing homelessness is:
    • Person-centered service model
    • Invest in programs that effectively connect people to housing
    • Address racial disparities
  • To better connect people to permanent housing, the City changed the way it invests in the homeless services system. These changes were made in partnership with King County and United Way of King County.
  • Prevention, Emergency, and Housing are the three primary investment areas for the homeless services system
    • Prevention: Services to help people remain in their homes
    • Emergency: Services that provide safe spaces for people to stay, and a connection to housing
    • Housing: Services focused on permanent housing solutions including; rapid re-housing, diversion, and permanent supportive housing

Homeless Services System

City-Funded Hygiene Services Available During COVID-19

COVID-19 forced hundreds of businesses and organizations to close their doors to prevent the spread of the virus. This map shows City-funded hygiene services that are open to people in need. These resources are provided by multiple City departments.

On the map below, please click on the Legend button for a description of what each of the different location symbols means.

All locations include access to restrooms. Some locations offer access to showers and laundry services. Some locations are open to the general public, whereas some are funded only for those experiencing homelessness and other locations are designed for specific groups of people such as women or children. Please click on the Filter Locations (Funnel) button to highlight specific types of services on the map.

Note: Layers must be turned on for filters to work properly. Please click the button in the upper right corner to Turn Layers On and Off. The map only shows OPEN restrooms and hygiene facilities. These facilities may unexpectedly close periodically due to vandalism, fires, and/or plumbing issues.

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