By Lindsey Garrity, Planning & Development Specialist, Community Support & Assistance, City of Seattle
The 2014 One Night Count found at least 730 individuals sleeping in their vehicles in City of Seattle. Seattle’s Road to Housing program (formerly known as the Safe Parking Program) helps people who are living in their vehicle access a safe place to park in program spaces hosted by faith-based organizations. Graham Pruss, the program outreach worker, talks with hundreds of vehicular residents each month to build relationships, provide information on available services, and referrals to the Road to Housing program. Jenni Lovell, the program case manager, works with vehicular residents on individual goal plans, which can include housing applications, employment, and connections to benefits, to support people to transition into stable housing.
The Road to Housing program is a result of collaboration with Compass Housing Alliance, faith-based organizations, community partners and advocates, Councilmember O’Brien’s office, the Mayor’s Office, and the Human Services Department. We are seeking faith-based organizations in Seattle who are interested in becoming involved as program host sites, helping people transition from homelessness to housing. Currently, program host sites are concentrated in Ballard / North Seattle; however, there is great need for additional sites across Seattle, with a focus on expansion to the SoDo area and West Seattle.
In 2013, the Road to Housing program served 52 vehicular residents, helping 34 to move into a more stable living environment. So far, in 2014 (through June), the program has worked with 91 participants through case management services, and contacted 173 unique households through outreach services.
In January 2014, at least 730 people were sleeping in their vehicles in the City of Seattle. Photo: Alan Berner, Seattle Times.
If you are interested in learning more about Seattle’s Road to Housing program or becoming a program host site, contact Wayne Wilson with Compass Housing Alliance at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are currently living in your vehicle and are interested in accessing the program, please call the Road to Housing program intake line at (206) 474-1815.
Lindsey Garrity is a Planning & Development Specialist with the Community Support & Assistance division of the Seattle Human Services Department, working on programs that support individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness to transition from homelessness to stable housing. Lindsey has been involved with the development and launch of the Road to Housing Program since its inception in 2011.