Mayor Jenny Durkan Announces Continued Expansion of City’s Navigation Team, New Steps to Connect More People Experiencing Homelessness with Services

Additions Allow Teams to Work Seven Days Per Week

Applauds $1 Million in State Budget for WSDOT Cleanups Near and Along I-5 and I-90

Seattle (May 31, 2019) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today announced the continued expansion of the City’s Navigation Team through the hiring of four additional members that will allow the team to work seven days per week. The Navigation Team is comprised of a specially-trained team of Seattle Police Department officers and outreach workers who connect unsheltered people to housing and resources, while also removing unsafe encampments from public property. The additional four members of the Navigation Team adds the necessary capacity to refer individuals to services seven days per week, in neighborhoods throughout the city. In total, there will be 38 members of the Navigation Team, including contracted outreach workers, which has expanded from 22 since Mayor Durkan took office in 2017. 

“This crisis requires urgent action and new steps. We will continue to work for holistic solutions and do more to help bring people inside and connect them with services and housing – and we will continue to invest in the strategies we know have an impact, like enhanced shelter and our Navigation Team,” said Mayor Durkan. “The mission and work of the Navigation Team remains the same: Connecting people with services and helping them move into safer places. With vital new state resources in place in July, we will also continue to work with our partners at Washington State Department of Transportation to address homelessness in the state’s right-of-way near and along I-5 and I-90.” 

“I welcome the new outreach workers, called System Navigators, to join the Navigation Team,” said Jason Johnson, director of the Seattle Human Services Department (HSD). “These investments are impactful, providing direct support to people living unsheltered by expanding our ability to offer services and shelter referrals seven days a week. Every time the Navigation Team is out in the field, we have the opportunity to engage more people and offer critical lifesaving services.” 

During this spring’s legislative session, Mayor Durkan worked with legislators to obtain key state investments in the state budget for affordable housing, behavioral health treatment and to address homelessness. Also in April 2019, the Washington State Legislature passed legislation as part of its budget process that allocates an additional $1 million to clear debris, garbage, and hazardous materials, and implement safety improvements along WSDOT rights-of-way in the Seattle area.