Re: “A night in a Seattle severe weather shelter, with snow outside but threat of COVID inside” [Dec. 31, Project Homeless]:

What a huge missed opportunity by the city to address multiple issues around homelessness all at once. The article pointed to staffing for nonprofits as the issue, but what about other factors?

The city had more than a week’s notice that Seattle was going to have below freezing temperatures. Instead of 24/7 shelters, it set up warming stations with a daunting schedule of what was open when and where. The article stated vaccination rates at most Salvation Army shelters in Seattle are between 40% to 50%. Were vaccines offered at warming centers like at sporting events? Were volunteers recruited to help staff or provide meals? Were case workers on site?

The perfect storm that could have been the perfect response. What if …

The city had kept each warming center open 24/7?

The city had recruited volunteers to help man those centers?

Vaccines were available?

Case workers were on hand at each center to work on long-term solutions with individuals while they were in one place?

Denice Chase, Seattle