Dangerously Cold Weather Moving into Seattle: Emergency Shelters and Safety Information (Updated 12/24)

The National Weather Service (NWS) is forecasting dangerously cold temperatures with highs struggling to reach freezing beginning Sunday, December 26 through Wednesday, December 29. NWS is also predicting snow fall to hit the region beginning Saturday, December 25.

For the latest weather forecast information, visit the National Weather Service Seattle/Tacoma website.

For the latest information on the City of Seattle’s response to cold and snow, including plowed roads and power outage information, visit seattle.gov/winterweather.

Emergency Shelters

In anticipation of increasing low temperatures and potential snow over the coming days, the Seattle Human Services Department (HSD), will open emergency Severe Weather Shelters from Saturday, December 25th through Wednesday, December 29th. Forecasts will be monitored to assess emergency shelter needs for people experiencing homelessness beyond the morning of Thursday the 30th.

The shelters, located at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall and Compass Housing Alliance Shelter in Pioneer Square, will open nightly at 7pm starting December 25th. They will continue operations through Wednesday, December 29th, providing an additional 180 – 200 emergency shelter spaces for individuals experiencing homelessness.

  • Seattle Center Exhibition Hall – Operated by Salvation Army
    • 301 Mercer Street, Seattle, WA 98109
      • Enter though main entrance off Mercer Street and go down the stairs. Serves 100+ people, all genders, 18+ years, non-aggressive leashed dogs and cats under owner control allowed. The Seattle Center campus hygiene station will be accessible. The Armory opens daily at 10am for day warming.
      • Served directly by Metro Bus routes 3, 4, 5, 8, 16, 28, RapidRide E Line, and nearby routes include: 1, 13, and RapidRide D Line.
  • Compass Housing Alliance Shelter in Pioneer Square
    • 210 Alaskan Way South, Seattle, WA 98104
      • Enter at the corner of So. Washington and Alaskan Way. Serves 80+ people, all genders, 18+ years, service animals only at this location. Day Center also available at this location.
      • Served by nearby public transit services (1-3 blocks away): Seattle Streetcar, Link Light Rail, routes 21, 29, 55, 56, 57, 101, 102, 111, 113, 114, 120, 121, 115, 150, 162, 177, 190, 212, 214, 216, 217, 218, 550, 554, RapidRide C, ST 590, ST 592, ST 594, ST 595, ST 577, ST 578, PT 410, PT, 415, PT 417, PT 422, PT 424, and Washington State Ferries.

Emergency shelter spaces will follow COVID-19 safety and screening protocols for guests, including added air filtration, physical distancing, and increased sanitation and hygiene. Providers will also follow public health isolation protocols for any symptomatic guests.

Community members seeking places to come inside during the day are encouraged to utilize public spaces available for all, such as Seattle Public Libraries and the Seattle Center Armory. Day centers (including the one operated by Compass Housing in Pioneer Square), existing programs open and offering support year-round for people experiencing homelessness. Year-round service provider day centers are identified on City’s Hygiene Map, which can be filtered to show day center locations across the city. HSD will continue to share updated lists as additional day and center or warming locations are identified by agencies involved in emergency response functions.  

  • City coordinated warming locations open for severe weather this December:
    • Seattle City Hall, Bertha Knight Landes (Operated by Seattle Urban League)600 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104. Opens Sunday, December 26 from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm as needed through January 2, 2022.  
    • International District/Chinatown Community Center: 719 8th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104. Hours vary daily. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: 11:00 am- 9:00 pm;Tuesday and Thursday: 10am-7pm; Saturday: 10:00 am-7:00pm (5:00 p.m. in normal closing); Sunday: 10am – 7pm (normally closed).  
    • Magnuson Park Building #406: 7400 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115. Printable Park Map. Monday and Tuesday 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm; Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday –10am-7pm (normally closed). 
    • Northgate Community Center10510 5th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98125. Open M-F: 9:00 am-7:00 pm, Saturday 10:00 am-7:00 pm (normally closed), Sunday 10:00am-7:00 pm (normally closed), 206-386-4823. 
    • Rainier Beach Community Center: 8825 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118. Hours vary daily Monday-Thursday 10:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 7:00 pm (normally 6:30 p.m.), Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 pm, Sunday 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, 206-386-1925 
    • Seattle Center Armory, 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA 98109, Campus Map (seattlecenter.com), Opens daily at 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, 206-684-7200 
    • Compass Housing Alliance Day Center (adjacent to night shelter, open as staffing capacity allows), 77 S Washington St, Seattle, WA 98104, Monday to Friday 9;00 am to 4:00 pm, 206-474-1000 

If you are in need of shelter, call 2-1-1 or 1-877-211-9274. Parents or guardians caring for one or more child 18 years or younger can get help identifying emergency shelter by calling the Coordinated Family Intake Line at 206-245-1026 between 8am – 11:30pm, 365-days a year. In addition, the YWCA’s women and family shelter intake line can be reached at 206-461-4882. For an emergency, call 9-1-1.

Click here for more information on emergency shelters and outreach efforts for unsheltered people in Seattle.

Winter Safety Information

Extreme cold weather can lead to icy roads, frozen pipes, and power outages. The City of Seattle’s Winter Weather webpage has tips on how to stay safe during extreme cold and snow, as well as links to City resources and updates on response to winter storms.

  • Clear snow and ice from sidewalks, walkways, and driveways with a shovel or de-icer. Help everyone stay safe.
  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Push the snow instead of lifting it when possible.
  • Prevent flooding by using a shovel to safely clear snow and ice from your neighborhood storm drains.
  • Never use charcoal grills or portable gas camp stoves indoors. The fumes are deadly.
  • Insulate exposed and unheated pipes and remove outdoor hoses to help prevent frozen pipes.
  • If you must drive, make sure your car is ready. Carry chains or other traction devices and be prepared to put them on. Make sure windows are clear and the snow is removed from the entire car.
  • Dress in layers to stay warm and keep clothing dry. Wear a hat to prevent loss of body heat.
  • Never touch, approach or come into contact with anything touching a downed power line. Stay at least 35 feet (11 meters) away from the lines and anything surrounding them. Consider all wires energized and dangerous. Even de-energized lines may become energized at any time. Always assume the wire is live, even if severed.

For more tips and information, visit seattle.gov/winterweather.

COVID Safety Information

If you are hosting a holiday gathering, think about the steps you need to take to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends:

For more information about preventing the spread of COVID-19 over the holiday season, visit the CDC’s website.

Article Source: News from City of Seattle