NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
The City’s new Navigation Center, a shelter that accepts people with pets, partners, and possessions, as well as substance abuse disorders — started accepting referrals on July 12.
On July 11, Mayor Ed Murray and Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) Executive Director Daniel Malone toured the facility, located at the Pearl Warren Building in Little Saigon. The Navigation Center is modeled after a similar facility in San Francisco, which caters to those living unsheltered who face barriers to traditional shelter.
“This is a major milestone in the City’s effort to make our homelessness services system laser focused on meeting individualized needs of people,” said Murray. “That’s how you build a pathway to stable housing.”
Local Vietnamese Americans, many of whom own businesses in Little Saigon, said the decision to site the center on the edge of the city’s Chinatown International District was reached without hearing views from local residents, and they criticized the mayor’s office for lack of communication and community outreach.
They are concerned the shelter would attract more crime and harassment from panhandlers and homeless people, and disproportionately put elders and patrons in danger.