March 17, 2020
To Mayor Jenny Durkan, Seattle City Councilmembers, and Interim HSD Director Jason Johnson,
We are in the midst of an unprecedented health emergency and need to do everything in our power to slow the spread of COVID 19, especially among our unhoused neighbors. We urge you to immediately use the funding allocated by the Seattle City Council to the supplemental budget in November 2019 for the purchase of 5 Mobile Pit Stops as intended.
We have the funds to purchase these units and immediately replicate an existing, successful public health strategy to help mitigate the effects of this virus. These units are staffed, portable, have two toilets inside, and can be outfitted with handwashing stations or hand sanitizer dispensers. Staff members could help dispense information about COVID 19 to our unhoused neighbors. Real Change is requesting a detailed timeline for when the city will purchase and activate these crucial units.
We appreciate the swift action of the county to buy a motel in Kent and to purchase and set up additional structures to shelter our unhoused neighbors and for isolation, quarantine, and recovery for anyone who cannot do so at home. We need to act with the same urgency around hygiene services.
We call on you to act with the emergency powers granted under the Council Emergency Order Resolution. Under the Emergency Order, procurement of these units can happen quickly, outside of the usual purchase and bidding processes. We must use these emergency powers and do everything to ensure that our unhoused neighbors have adequate access to hygiene services.
Councilmember Lisa Herbold
Councilmember Tammy Morales
Councilmember Kshama Sawant
Green Light Project
Public Defender Association
ROOTS Young Adult Shelter
Share the Cities
Transit Riders Union
Housing for All
Lake City Taskforce on Homelessness
Low Income Housing Institue
PARISOL//Pacific Rim Solidarity Network