Library Services for the Insecurely Housed

Library Services for the Insecurely Housed


♫ music plays ♫ public libraries have long been a refuge for people experiencing homelessness and those folks have often found programs and services here that were important to them in the last 5 or 10 years Seattle Public Library has taken a lot of steps to really intentionally try to provide services with folks experiencing homelessness and the library is really an engine for equity, we can provide access to opportunities that might otherwise be unavailable to people who are most affected by the housing crisis one of our primary services for people who are seeking housing, shelter or other social services and community resources is our Community Resources Specialist Program this is a partnership with the Downtown Emergency Service Center through which the library hosts case managers and social workers in our locations who are able to meet with patrons they have regular drop in hours and they’re able to provide connections to those kinds of resources housing assessments, emergency shelter as well as a whole host of other resources including things like food resources, immigration and citizenship resources, even things like child care, storage for belongings so that’s a really important partnership that allows us to continue the library’s mission of being a hub for information and referral to the kinds of services that folks need beyond the Community Resource Specialist Program we have free job and computer classes that are available to anyone things like resume skills classes and technology classes, things like Adobe Photoshop we have free adult tutoring where people can get assistance with for example completing their GED I often speak with folks who are residents of the encampments and I know that for them us being able to bring Internet to them is a huge and sometimes life changing service folks have let me know that they were able to get permanent housing and a job sometimes because they had uninterrupted Internet access as a result of library services we also have a lot of streaming options which are something that I know that some folks who are experiencing homelessness really enjoy being able to just watch TV or movies for free with the use of their library card libraries are a crucial piece of the city’s response to the housing crisis and doing this work is incredibly meaningful for me and I feel really lucky that I get to meet and learn from and listen to the people who are most impacted by our housing crisis ♫ music fades ♫

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