Questions About Homelessness in Seattle? A List of City Outreach Resources

This week, the Seattle Police Department will be on standby to support city departments and providers as they conduct outreach and remediation at an encampment in Denny Park. The Seattle Police Department has recently received questions about how the city addresses issues with encampments on city sidewalks, particularly in the Pioneer Square area. 

At this time, the Seattle Police Department is not the lead city agency for encampment and right-of-way issues following the Seattle City Council’s decision in 2020 to suspend funding for the joint Human Services Department/Seattle Police Department Navigation Team.

The Navigation Team, launched in 2016, was a partnership between the Seattle Human Services Department and the Seattle Police Department that provided outreach to vulnerable individuals and families experiencing homelessness throughout the city. As part of the Navigation Team, SPD Officers distributed thousands of hygiene kits, made referrals to shelters and other health services, and enabled multiple city agencies—including SPD, HSD, Seattle Parks, Seattle Public Utilities, and Seattle City Light—to work in tandem to conduct needed outreach and address public safety and health hazards at encampments.

Homelessness is a complex issue with no easy answers. Even though the Seattle Police Department is no longer directly involved in outreach, the department will continue to take law enforcement action to address serious crimes occurring in encampments. Just last week, SPD investigators arrested eight people for significant narcotics trafficking and weapons charges in encampments in Pioneer Square and Yesler Terrace. We will continue to support other city agencies and service providers if they request our presence at an encampment.

Below is a list of city contacts for Seattle residents and businesses seeking assistance from the city, as well as a list of city services and resources for those experiencing homelessness. Being homeless is not a crime and vulnerable individuals living on our streets are deserving of empathy, care, and assistance from our department and our city.

Info Sheet of City services and community resources for those experiencing homelessness:

Visit the City’s Hygiene Resource Map by clicking the image below:

Use the Find it/Fix it app to report trash, illegal dumping, biowaste, and obstructions or contact the Customer Service Bureau at 206-684-2489. Read more about Seattle’s Clean City Initiative here.

Public right of ways, such as sidewalks, planting strips or green belts not part of Parks Department: Contact the Seattle Department of Transportation

Homelessness Response Resources and Human Serviceshomelessness@seattle.gov

Issues in City Parks: PKS_Info@seattle.gov

Vacant or abandoned buildings: Barbara Graf, Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection at Barbara.Graf@seattle.gov

Illegal structures, housing and zoning issues: Scott Thiessen, Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection at scott.thiessen@seattle.gov