City opens application for 24/7 navigation center funding

Seattle, WA – Today, the City of Seattle Human Services Department announced the availability of up to $1.67M in funding to create a Seattle navigation center intended to serve at least 75 people at a time.  The funds will be awarded through an open and competitive request for qualification (RFQ) process.  Nonprofit agencies and federally-recognized Indian tribes in the State of Washington are eligible to apply.

This RFQ is a direct result of the Executive Order issued on June 9th by Mayor Edward Murray, which directed the creation of a new low-barrier, one-stop service center for individuals without shelter to receive customized support needed to move into permanent housing.

“Operationalizing the navigation center is a critical step in creating a person-centered homelessness response system.” said Catherine L. Lester, Seattle Human Services Department Director. “By providing 24-hour, low-barrier shelter alternatives to our most vulnerable neighbors, we will be better able provide individually tailored services to help move more people into stable housing.”

The navigation center is modeled on the San Francisco Navigation Center which is a dormitory-style living facility that provides people living outside with shower, bathroom, laundry and dining facilities, and a place to store their belongings. Additionally, the navigation center will provide round-the-clock case management, mental and behavioral health services, and connections to benefit programs and housing all in one location.

Initially, clients referred from the I-5 East Duwamish Greenbelt and the transitional encampment located at Royal Brougham Way and Airport Way will have first priority for the navigation center.   Other focus populations for this funding include homeless individuals who are African American/Black, Multi-racial or American Indian/Alaska Native.  This focus is based on population data and local homeless counts that show racial disproportionality of those who are affected by homelessness.

This funding intends that staff on site will offer support for basic needs like shelter, hygiene, meals, secure and accessible storage, case management, and supportive services including meaningful referrals substance abuse and mental health treatment. These services are intended to be designed for quickly routing clients into housing or other long-term placement.

While service center clients will not be required to be drug-free and sober, the location will not operate as a safe injection site. The navigation center is a 24/7 harm reduction model that welcomes pets, couples and individuals currently struggling with addiction.

The $1,675,000 currently available through this RFQ is derived from the following sources:  City of Seattle Homelessness State of Emergency ($475,000), Washington State Department of Commerce ($600,000) and private funding ($600,000).  Individuals, businesses, and philanthropic organizations can make donations to the navigation center on the United Way of King County website.

Those interested in learning more about the RFQ application process are welcomed to attend an information session on Wednesday, September 7, 2016.

Information Session
1 – 2 p.m.
El Centro de la Raza, RM 307
2524 16th Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98144

Applications will be due by 12 p.m. on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 online or hand delivered to the Seattle Human Services Department at 700 5th Avenue, Suite 5800.

Please visit the HSD website to view and download application materials.

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The Seattle Human Services Department is one of the largest contributors to Seattle’s safety net. HSD provides $89 million in funding through 450 contracts to nearly 200 agencies supporting Seattle’s most vulnerable residents each year.  The department works closely with its community partners, including other public and nonprofit funders and service providers, to understand current and emerging human service needs, and to create and invest in a comprehensive and integrated regional human services system.