This month, Seattle’s Navigation Team officially came to an end. But what does that actually mean for Seattle and for people living unsheltered in the city?
Uncertainty has swirled for months around whether funding would remain for the team of police officers and outreach workers who have cleared homeless encampments and referred people to shelter since 2017.
The Seattle City Council first voted to defund the team in early August. Then, Mayor Jenny Durkan vetoed the measure near the end of August. Finally, on Sept. 22, the City Council overrode Durkan’s veto, making the Navigation’s Team dissolution a sure thing.
By Oct. 1, the mayor’s office announced it was suspending the Navigation Team’s work immediately.
But unless you work in city government or homeless services, the news of the Navigation Team’s end probably invites more questions than answers.
Cue The Seattle Times’ Project Homeless team. We’re asking readers to send in questions about the Navigation Team via the form below, and we’ll try our best to track down the answers.
What did the Navigation Team actually do? What other forms of outreach are available for people who live unsheltered in Seattle? Why was the team so controversial?
Your curiosity will help us build an FAQ about the Navigation Team that we hope can help clear up some confusion and make sense of what this decision will mean moving forward.
If you have any trouble viewing the form (especially if you’re using a smartphone or tablet), email your questions to our engagement editor, Anna Patrick, at firstname.lastname@example.org.