Last November, in the budget process, the Council allocated $100,000 for two years in new funds to address shelter demand fluctuations throughout the year, as well as $50,000 for both 2013-2014 to provide additional funding for shelter capacity for women during the period from May to September.
This week, the Human Services Department (HSD) announced that they will use the Council-allocated funds to allow Seattle Winter Shelter operations to be extended at both a. the City Hall Winter Shelter serving adult men and women and b. the Women’s Shelter at Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) Connections.
In 2011, thanks to the advocacy of the Seattle King County Coalition on Homelessness (SKCCH), the Seattle City Council voted to make shelter available “behind the red doors” inside City Hall all winter long. Again, in 2012, SKCCH called for an extension of winter shelter to meet the ongoing, yearlong unmet need when turnaways at year-round shelter spike after winter shelters close.
I’m glad that with the 2013-2014 budget money allocated by the Council in 2012, HSD agreed to allow these shelter operations to extend past the winter months.