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Dear Neighbors,

As the weather gets better and the economy shows signs of recovery, I am excited to end this week by sharing some good news.

To begin, I am pleased to say that people who had been living underneath the Pioneer Square Pergola have received placements at the City’s Navigation Center and in hotel rooms, where they will receive casework, treatment, and other assistance on their paths to permanent housing. This is thanks to the work of City employees on the HOPE Team and community partners working on the JustCARE program, which I have written about in this space before.

Photo by Nicole Alexander/REACH-JustCARE

The iconic Pergola was built in 1909 by Julian F. Everett to provide shelter and a public bathroom to passengers waiting for seats on the cable car. It remains a fixture in Pioneer Square, but it is by no means adequate shelter for people who need access to housing. The encampment had detrimental impacts on the people living there during a pandemic and on the surrounding neighbors and businesses who had less access to this public space. Moreover, through diligent outreach and engagement, and close partnership with providers, we were able to assist everyone in the Pergola without posting for a sweep.

These efforts show how creating enough housing and shelter for everyone benefits everyone, and we can once again all enjoy our Pergola and park. My biggest priority for investing American Recovery Act resources will be scaling and expanding JustCARE so we can have more of these collaborative outreach efforts throughout Seattle.

It Takes A Village Receives State Support

That brings me to my next bit of good news. It Takes A Village, the public-private campaign to scale tiny house villages spearheaded by my office, has received $2 million in funding in the State Legislature’s recently passed Capital Budget (page 63)! Just as a reminder, tiny house villages typically cost $400,000 to $600,000 in onetime costs to standup. This infusion of $2 million will help us further stretch City dollars to stand up more villages more quickly and meet the scale of our homelessness crisis.

There are many people to thank for securing this crucial funding, but I am especially grateful to Speaker Emeritus Frank Chopp (D-43) for his tremendous advocacy and shepherding of this budget item. Speaker Emeritus Chopp championed a number of different housing efforts in Olympia this year, as he does most years, and I appreciate his diligence on behalf of all the people of Seattle in getting this critical investment through.

Sign Up for Vaccines

And finally, the City is now scheduling second dose appointments at the Lumen Field Center, Rainier Beach, and West Seattle vaccination sites. The City is currently administering the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Residents can schedule their second dose appointment here, or can call the Customer Service Bureau at 206-684-2489, Monday – Saturday, from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. for help scheduling an appointment.
Schedule Your Second Vaccine Dose
In addition to online appointments opening up, last week, the Seattle Fire Department began administering walk-in vaccinations at their Rainier Beach and West Seattle Vaccination Hubs for anyone 60 or older who hasn’t yet received their first dose. Anyone 60 or older can head to Rainier Beach or West Seattle hubs and receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine without an appointment.

The City also launched our Good Neighbor program: Anyone 16 or older who hasn’t been vaccinated can bring someone 60 or older who also hasn’t been vaccinated to Rainier Beach or West Seattle, and SFD will vaccinate both people, no appointment required. Residents can find more information here.
Councilmember Andrew J. Lewis
Seattle City Council // District 7
Copyright © 2021 Seattle City Council, All rights reserved.

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