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Provider selected for program to restore homelessness outreach to Broadway

The Seattle Human Services Department made an announcement Monday on a key decision that will put homelessness outreach workers back on the streets around Broadway.

The city department’s selection panel has chosen Evergreen Treatment Center’s REACH program to fulfill its $244,400 portion of a new effort to put the workers into action in three neighborhoods: Capitol Hill, the International District/Chinatown, and First Hill.

“Outreach services are defined as efforts to approach and engage someone with the objective of developing a relationship of trust and connecting that person with resources. Services may include addressing a person’s survival needs, providing health and other education, facilitating access to available services such as diversion or emergency shelter, and establishing ongoing, trusting relationships,” HSD says.

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The Broadway Business Improvement Area had announced earlier that the effort to restore homeless outreach services will put social workers back on the street around Broadway starting April 15th. Egan Orion, executive director of the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce and now a candidate for Seattle City Council, is also the BBIA administrator. “It’s not a solution to chase away homeless to another neighborhood,” Orion told CHS last month. “At least having outreach workers on the ground, being able to connect them, getting to know them, helping them navigate the system, some folks will be helped out of that situation.”

CHS reported here on the plan to return the outreach effort to Broadway after a funding lapse was filled by the combination of city budget and $100,000 from business groups in the three neighborhoods. A City Hall debate on who should provide the workers — downtown’s Metropolitan Improvement District or the REACH effort from Evergreen Treatment Services, considered by some at City Hall to be more the more equitable investment of city funds — pushed the plan to be opened up for providers to apply for the gig.

HSD says six organizations were vying for the contract but Evergreen’s program was selected for “how they engage with and assist unsheltered populations and how they can successfully refer people to other services” and Evergreen’s past work with the Ballard Business Improvement Association. Evergreen’s “expertise in outreach to an array of people who are homeless in Seattle” including “people with ongoing mental health and substance use needs,” was also a key factor according to the HSD announcement.

HSD says the review committee was made up of representatives “who have lived or worked in the identified neighborhoods, have led programs designed for people who are or have been homeless, and/or have lived experience as homeless and have received homeless services and subsidized housing in Seattle.”

Thursday, the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce will host a Capitol Hill Homelessness Forum at the Broadway Performance Hall including representatives from service providers, local non-profits, and city employees “who serve our unsheltered neighbors either directly or indirectly.”

Capitol Hill Homelessness Forum

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Bob Knudson
Bob Knudson
1 year ago

I hope the new outreach workers will be effective at moving people off our streets in a timely manner, and not simply be their “friend” as they continue to live in camps month after month. One example is the two camps at one address in the 200 block of 10th Ave E.

The current situation is not acceptable for either the homeless or the neighborhood. A “tougher love” approach is needed.
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Knudson

100% agree. What has been going on since 2013 is not working.