---

As of January 2018, 4,488 people were living unsheltered in the City of Seattle. Every three days, someone living unsheltered on our streets dies. We need to do better. We are and must be a better city than this.

I fundamentally believe it is simply inhumane and wrong to allow people to live outside of the system, without connections to services, and where they are living among rats, needles, garbage. With our tiny home villages and shelters nearly at capacity, we must have a plan to provide more short-term options that are safe, humane, and that actually move people to long-term housing.

That’s why on Wednesday, I announced a new plan increase the number of bridge housing and shelter units in the City of Seattle in the next 90 days by nearly 25 percent, from 2,000 to about 2,500 – allowing us to serve an additional 522 people every single night.

If approved by members of the City Council, my plan would: Expand existing shelter capacity at some of our 24/7 shelters to serve an additional 180 people; create bridge housing at Haddon Hall in Belltown through a master lease to serve 100 people; expand City Hall's basic shelter to serve 120 people each night; support Whittier Heights Women’s Village, which will serve 19 chronically homeless women; support 54 tiny homes in South Lake Union and 30 new tiny homes at 18th and Yesler following community engagement and site approval. These tiny homes would serve approximately 103 people; and continue to fund 163 shelter beds that were set to close at the end of this month.

We have an opportunity to deliver a historic expansion of bridge housing and shelter in the City of Seattle that will ensure more people can come inside to access City services and get the support they need. This crisis was years in the making, and we are not going solve this problem overnight; but with this plan we can make a difference.

We will also continue our work to continue tackle this crisis from every angle including preventing people from falling into homelessness, building more low-income and middle-income housing, increasing resources for behavioral and mental health treatment, and creating a regional approach to better align our efforts across the County

To learn more about our City’s homelessness crisis and our response, please visit www.seattle.gov/homelessness. And please continue to write me at Jenny.Durkan@seattle.gov, reach out via Twitter and Facebook, and stay up-to-date on the work we’re doing for the people of Seattle on my blog.

Sincerely,

Mayor Jenny Durkan

---

Celebrate Pride Month with the City of Seattle

June 1st marks the beginning of Pride month, and all of us in City Hall are incredibly proud to live in a city that is a leader in advancing dignity and equality of our LGBTQ community.

The 2018 Seattle Pride Parade will take place in downtown Seattle on June 24. This year’s theme is “Pride Beyond Borders,” and commemorates the historic Stonewall riots, which were a series of demonstrations led by black and brown gay, lesbian, and trans individuals against police raids on June 28, 1969.

To celebrate the start of Pride month, Mayor Durkan, the Seattle LGBTQ Commission, City staff, and LGBTQ community partners gathered on the City Hall steps today for the annual flag raising! We’re proud to debut a new flag this year, which incorporates black, brown, and trans colors, to celebrate the contributions of LGBTQ activists of color and trans activists, such as Marsha P. Johnson who have been on the frontlines of the fight for equality since the beginning. Happy Pride!

---

#WearOrange Weekend: Marking National Gun Violence Awareness Day

Today is National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and like millions of Americans around the country, Mayor Durkan and many us on her team are wearing orange – a color so loud it can’t be ignored – to give voice to the 96 Americans who die and the hundreds injured by gun violence every single day in our country. For more information on Mayor Durkan’s recent actions to reduce gun violence, click here.

---

Announcing the Lander Street Pedestrian Bridge Project

On Tuesday, Mayor Durkan joined Senator Maria Cantwell and Port of Seattle Commission President Courtney Gregoire to celebrate the start of construction of the South Lander Street Bridge Project. The Lander Street Bridge for pedestrians will provide much-needed traffic relief and improve safety for commuters and freight operations on South Lander Street between 1st Avenue South and 4th Avenue South.

“This is a prime example of the progress we can make when leaders at the federal, state, and city level work together to make smart investments in transportation infrastructure,” said Mayor Durkan. “I want to acknowledge and thank Senator Cantwell and Port Commission President Gregoire for their leadership in getting this done. We made this investment in our future because South Lander Street is an essential east-west connection in SODO, and this bridge will ease traffic on this critical freight corridor in our industrial lands and make it safer for people walking, biking, and driving.”

South Lander Street is in the state’s largest and densest manufacturing and industrial area. The street now closes for over 4.5 hours each day for train crossings. This leads to travel delays, lost business revenue, increased idling and carbon dioxide emissions, and safety risks. The street currently serves 13,000 vehicles, 1,400 pedestrians, and 100 bicycle riders daily. The full closure of South Lander Street between 1st and 3rd Avenues began May 22 and will remain closed through early 2020. Find out more about the project here.

---