An emergency smoke relief shelter created last Friday to bring people experiencing homelessness inside remains open until Wednesday morning as continuing wildfire smoke continues to choke the Puget Sound region.
King County and the City of Seattle came together to open an emergency shelter on September 11, offering relief for up to 100 people currently living outdoors unsheltered. Salvation Army is the shelter provider, with additional staffing from the Public Health Reserve Corps, the Department of Community and Human Services, and staff from several other County departments volunteering their time.
As part of the County’s preparations for the COVID-19 emergency, King County created isolation, quarantine and recovery centers to help people who could not safely recover in their own homes, or who did not have homes. The Sodo Assessment and Recovery Center in Seattle’s Sodo neighborhood was created for that purpose. As the region has been successful in slowing infection rates, the center has not yet been needed. With air filtration systems created for a care facility and additional features like no-touch hand washing stations throughout, it was the perfect location to press into service for the wildfire smoke emergency.
The emergency smoke relief shelter can accommodate about 100 people at a time and each person has their own space, with a cot, meals and onsite health care if needed.
The smoke shelter will remain open through Wednesday morning, September 16, at 10 a.m., when air quality is forecasted to improve. King County will continue to closely monitor the situation.