Storms Bring Opportunity to Connect with Homeless

The call to action rang on Wednesday, February 13. By the end of the day Thursday, Full Life Care had a roster of nearly a dozen individuals, each ready to spend part of their weekend at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall to help individuals staying in severe weather shelters.

The Resource Fair, held February 15-17, was assembled in short order. In just a couple of days, the city’s Human Services Department banded together about 25 organizations, including Full life Care, to set up tables and meet with individuals staying at the shelter.

Staff from Full Life’s Foundational Community Supports, Health Home and Solstice Behavioral Health programs provided assessments and referrals to nearly 40 people in three days.

“Amazing work,” said Jessica Herzer, program director for FCS and Health Home. “We received so many messages expressing a sense of newfound hope and relief in reaching out for help.”

Shelter in the Storm

The February 2019 storms were notable events, with record snowfalls and temperatures well below freezing for several consecutive days. The City of Seattle’s Human Services Department expanded emergency resources, opening more than 550 emergency beds during the storms.

Individuals and families who are homeless may not be aware of the services available to them. Having so many people seeking emergency shelters and warming stations provided an opportunity to bring the service providers to the shelter and to the individuals who need help. Will Lemke, spokesman for the city’s Human Services Department, told the Seattle Times that more than 250 people sought services at the fair on Friday alone.

The city provided transportation from other shelters in the area to the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall.

Full Life Cares

Full Life’s station was rarely idle the whole weekend as our teams talked to individuals about housing opportunities, community programs and mental health services.

On Friday, Full Life nursing staff and University of Washington nursing students organized foot washing and foot care stations. It was a service many appreciated. They provided foot care for about 40 people.

Individuals who are homeless may not have shoes that fit properly, and may avoid removing their shoes for days at a time. This can cause foot injury, pain and a range of health issues.

Rena Ferretti, director of Full Life Care’s community-based services, shared some praise for those efforts.

“Full Life Care hit it out of the park with the foot care team. We were able to engage more folks while they were waiting their turn for their foot care!”

At the close of the weekend, Full Life had referred 10 people to receive services from Foundational Community Supports, 10 to Health Home, and five to Solstice Behavioral Health. We also referred 10 people to other resources they needed. 

“This was truly an amazing event,” said Erin Schafer, Health Home program support coordinator. “What stood out to me was the ability to walk with folks to another agency’s table as soon as I realized they were ineligible for our programs or needed more than just our programs.”

 “What a successful weekend! We do such great work and I’m so proud to be part of Full Life Care!” said Kelly Tongg, intake coordinator at Solstice Behavioral Health.

Categories: Blog Banner