Assisting people living in City Hall Park move to safer shelter options
King County employees may see activity in and around City Hall Park this week as a County and City-funded contractor called the JustCARE program will be in the park assisting people living there to move voluntarily to safer and more sustainable shelter options. This follows several weeks of successful individualized outreach with the persons living in the park and a partnership with the City of Seattle in identifying safer shelter options.
- King County Executive Constantine proposed and the County Council enacted a “COVID-7” supplemental budget in May that included funds for a contractor to provide outreach, engagement, and hotel-based shelter to persons living in City Hall Park.
- During June, King County conducted a Request for Proposal process and in early July awarded the Public Defender Association (PDA) a contract—jointly funded with the City of Seattle—to provide engagement, case planning, and hotel sheltering services. PDA’s program is called JustCARE and is a partnership with several other outreach, shelter and behavioral health providers.
- The JustCARE team began engagement and case planning for the 50+ persons living in City Hall Park in July and has developed individual safety and shelter plans to support the individuals as they voluntarily move to shelter.
- City Hall Park is located between 3rd Avenue and 4th Avenue in Seattle, just south of the King County Courthouse.
The County’s and City’s approach tests a partnership between government and non-profit agencies to assist people in voluntarily leaving encampments and seeking safer shelter in leased hotels or other settings. This work has been underway for several weeks as skilled providers conducted individual engagement and created individualized plans as part of a strategy to help people leave an encampment for healthier and more supported settings without asking residents to simply move on to another unsupported location.
We look forward to improving conditions for people who have been living unsheltered within City Hall Park, and to changing conditions in and around the park for employees and other residents. County employees should be aware that there may be increased traffic and activity in and around the park as people living there begin transitioning to safer and more appropriate locations.
Following the transition of individuals to more stable shelter, the City of Seattle has indicated it will close City Hall Park in mid-August for restoration.