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May 2020
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CityLink Seattle

Increasing Hygiene Access for Our Most Vulnerable Residents, Shower Trailers Deploying in Seattle

City Launches Interactive Hygiene Map Highlighting All Publicly Funded Hygiene Facilities Available to People Experiencing Homelessness

Contact:          Sabrina Register, sabrina.register@seattle.gov

Seattle (May 20, 2020) – The City of Seattle is set to deploy two shower trailers in locations across the City to support the hygiene needs for homeless residents within their communities. Beginning *Friday, King Street Station will host a shower trailer five days per week, and a mobile shower trailer will be hosted in Lake City and Seattle Center, with more locations under consideration. King Street Station will also receive a hygiene station. In addition, a hygiene map, located on HSD website, that represents all open and available facilities was launched with this effort.

“The City of Seattle has taken significant steps to help our most vulnerable neighbors throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. From repurposing City facilities into 24/7 shelters to working with our King County partners on supporting wrap-around services that allow residents to temporarily reside in hotels outside of the City to providing meals and increasing access to hygiene services, the City of Seattle is committed to keeping our most vulnerable safe throughout this pandemic,” said Mayor Jenny A. Durkan. “Access to hygiene is a critical component to reducing spread of COVID-19 throughout our community.”

Each shower trailer includes three shower stalls, **three toilets and three sinks . Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding holidays. Clients can place reservations 30 minutes before operations begin and showers, toilets and sinks will be sanitized after each use. The King Street Station will be available Monday to Friday, scheduled to begin May 22. The roving trailer will be hosted two consecutive days per week at Seattle Center beginning May 21 and 22, but typically Tuesdays and Wednesdays beginning May 26. Lake City will host on Saturday and Sunday beginning May 30 but additional locations are under consideration and will be announced soon. The City has contracted with the Millionair Club to staff and maintain the trailers.

The additional hygiene station at King Street Station consists of two portable toilets and a handwashing station with 24/7 access. Service providers, Department of Neighborhoods, the Human Services Department, Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Facilities and Administrative Services, and Public Health – Seattle & King County were consulted to help determine the most high-need locations for placement.

While most businesses are considered “non-essential” as part of Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order and have temporarily closed, many locations where people experiencing homelessness met their hygiene needs are temporarily unavailable. Recognizing that access to hygiene resources is a critical component of protecting communities from COVID-19 spread, the City has added 13 hygiene stations and conducted an extensive accounting of every City-funded hygiene resource available. As of May 20, Seattle Parks & Recreation, Seattle Public Utilities, The Seattle Public Library, and city-sponsored day centers account for more than 165 locations where hygiene resources are available, including 89 24/7 hygiene facilities that include toilets. HSD’s hygiene map includes all locations that are open and will be updated weekly, as it pertains to maintenance and vandalism-related closures.

“Hygiene is a basic need and more important than ever during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Mami Hara, General Manager of Seattle Public Utilities. “We’re so pleased to play a role in supporting our neighbors in their need for showers, handwashing stations and portable toilets during this critical time.”

“Many of our providers and neighborhood organizations have not been able to support people in need during this time due to COVID-19. By deploying more hygiene resources across Seattle, we are stepping in help fill this gap,” said Jason Johnson, Director of the Human Services Department Director.  “Thank you to Seattle Public Utilities for leading this important work to ensure that people have more access to meet their most basic needs.”

“Millionair Club Charity is excited to partner with Seattle Public Utilities and provide job opportunities to men and women desperately in need of work right now. We believe that working together to maintain sustainable hygiene trailers will help our most vulnerable community members make it through this crisis while slowing further spread of the virus,” said Jim Miller, Executive Director of Millionair Club Charity. “The MCC workers, many of whom are unstably housed, will not only receive life-changing wages, but will also find purpose and hope through gainful employment.”

“Chief Seattle Club provides a safe place for our community to rest and revive during times of need. No need is more fundamental than a clean bathroom or a place to shower,” said Colleen Echohawk, Executive Director of the Chief Seattle Club. “We are pleased the City of Seattle and partners are deploying more hygiene resources after so many places were forced to close their doors. We look forward to our continued partnership and support of these efforts that can help our clients and the greater Seattle community.”

Millionair Club Charity is a 99-year-old nonprofit in Belltown that provides temporary staffing opportunities and job-readiness services (job training, hygiene center, computer lab, work uniforms, vision clinic, etc.) to men and women experiencing poverty and homelessness. MCC’s employment social enterprise aims to help men and women find stability in their lives. Each year, MCC provides hundreds of temp workers to various industries (commercial and residential) in areas like hospitality, stadium event staffing, food service, sanitation, landscaping, and warehousing. You can learn more, hire workers, and donate at MillionairClub.org.

*Previous release said Thursday

**Clarifying that there are 3 toilets and 3 sinks from previous release