The Navigation Center is a new low-barrier, service-enriched shelter targeting high needs homeless adults living in encampments. Onsite services include hygiene facilities, 24/7 staffing, and intensive case management. The program will offer highly marginalized people the opportunity to regain safety and engage in supportive helping relationships that will allow them to move forward with rebuilding their lives, and developing pathways to permanent housing, income, healthcare, and stability.

People will be welcomed as singles, pairs, or groups; with pets; and with access to secure storage for their belongings. The dormitory-style facility will have no curfew and will provide shower, bathroom, and laundry facilities, as well as comprehensive case management, behavioral health services, meal services through partnership with Operation Sack Lunch, and connections to benefit programs and housing.

The Navigation Center will accommodate up to 75 guests at a time.

Referrals and Contact Information
Referrals to the Navigation Center will be through the REACH Outreach Team of Evergreen Treatment Services.

To contact the Navigation Center, please call (206)322-1763.

For media inquiries, please contact Greg Jensen, Director of Administrative Services, at (206)515-1542 or via email at

Key Components
Low-barrier framework. The Navigation Center will welcome people with partners, pets and possessions.
Visiting providers. DESC will partner with relevant external providers to engage and work with clients on-site.
Harm reduction approach Staff will work with clients on safety, reducing the harm associated with substance use, building motivation, and offering practical support, including recovery activities. Substance use will be seen as an opportunity for engagement rather than a reason for termination of services. Staff interventions will focus on reducing harm, building motivation, and offering pragmatic support. Minimal rules. Part of a low-barrier model is having as few rules and formal structure as possible. Clients will be expected to be working on housing acquisition, but other than that, the services will be focused on determining with clients what they want and believe they need. Violence, weapons, open use of substances, or disruptive behavior in the neighborhood will not be allowed.
Individualized and holistic support services, focused on housing. Intensive individualized wrap-around case management services will be provided on-site by case managers and milieu service coordinators. Services are voluntary but highly effective and engaging. Good neighbor relations. Staff will monitor the immediate neighborhood, discourage loitering by clients, and respond promptly to any neighborhood concerns.
Onsite behavioral health services. DESC will site staff from its own state-licensed mental health and substance-use disorder treatment programs at the Center. Staff will help clients connect with appropriate programs as desired. A safe, clean, calm and flexible environment. Only enrolled clients will be permitted to enter the program spaces, and the entry will be staffed at all times. Separate areas for sleeping, eating, meeting with staff will accommodate clients' differing schedules and needs. Janitorial services will be robust.

Related Media
"City's low-barrier Navigation Center opens Wednesday"" - Curbed Seattle (July 11, 2017)

"A new way to help Seattle's homeless: Navigation Center set to open on Wednesday" - The Seattle Times (July 10, 2017)

"Homeless Navigation Center may target easier-to-house people, set time limits" - Real Change (July 05, 2017)

"Here's a Look Inside the Controversial Navigation Center Shelter in Little Saigon" - The Stranger SLOG (June 30, 2017)

"Neighbors worry Navigation Center homeless shelter opening being rushed" - Q13 Fox (June 28, 2017)

"King County, Seattle and other cities unite on regional plan to confront homelessness" - King County news (April 3, 2017)

"City launches Navigation Team, announces Navigation Center location" - Office of the Mayor, (February 08, 2017)

"Navigation Center for homeless won't open as planned by end of year" - The Seattle Times (December 14, 2016)

"City announces navigation center's operators" -, Human Interests Blog(November 14, 2016)

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