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Mayor Harrell Announces New City Investments in Post-Overdose Recovery Facility and Enhanced Mobile Addiction Treatment Services

New mobile medical van deploying to Pioneer Square this summer; pilot post-overdose stabilization services coming online in June 

SEATTLE, May 9 – Today, Mayor Bruce Harrell announced $7 million in capital funds for facility improvements to organizations treating substance use disorder and providing post-overdose care, opioid medication delivery, and case management services. The Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) is on track to receive $5.65 million, and Evergreen Treatment Services (ETS) is a finalist to receive $1.35 million. 

“The deadly fentanyl and synthetic opioid crisis that we are seeing on our streets and in our neighborhoods demands that we be urgent, compassionate, and innovative in how we help people suffering from addiction access life-saving treatment,” said Mayor Harrell. “Advancing one of the actions of my Executive Order, this new investment in a post-overdose recovery center and mobile clinics will stabilize people following a non-fatal overdose, alleviating their painful withdrawal symptoms that often cause them to use these highly addictive drugs again and connecting them to evidence-based treatment and recovery services. Working together with the Seattle Fire Department’s Health 99 overdose response team who will be able to bring people to this facility, we are creating synergy to make a pathway to recovery more accessible to those who need it the most. Thank you to our county, state, and federal partners who are supporting these efforts that will help build a healthier, safer future for our entire city.” 

This award is part of a $27 million investment supporting Mayor Harrell’s Executive Order 2023-04: Addressing the Opioid and Synthetic Drug Crisis in Seattle, announced as part of the Downtown Activation Plan to create a safe, welcoming downtown. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant provides $7 million in capital funding. Winning projects are subject to federal approval upon completion of federal requirements. 

DESC will operate a post-overdose stabilization and care facility from the Morrison Hotel on Third Avenue, following renovations expected to begin by Q1 2025. Post-overdose clients with prolonged health conditions requiring medical attention and case management services will be able to receive care at the facility for up to 23 consecutive hours.  

DESC’s service delivery will focus on three interrelated services:  

  • Post-overdose subacute stabilization and care, 

  • Rapid initiation of evidence-based medication treatments for opioid use disorder,   

  • Connections to behavioral health care and relevant physical health services. 

Beginning in June, DESC will pilot services from their Crisis Solution Center in the Chinatown-International District. 

"The ORCA Center adds another important link to our continuum of services for people who experience drug overdoses,” said Daniel Malone, Executive Director of DESC. “By providing much-needed treatment such as medications for opioid use disorder, as well as access to harm reduction supplies, education and other services, we aim to prevent the next overdose and cut down on emergency room use. This will be one of many services and strategies designed to reduce fatal overdoses and fentanyl harm and increase well-being in the city and the county. Thank you to our multiple city, county and regional partners in crisis and behavioral health services who share those priorities and goals. And thank you to the City of Seattle, King County, Washington state and a generous private benefactor without whose investments this center wouldn’t be possible." 

Evergreen Treatment Services is an award finalist re-envisioning their proposal following winter flooding that impacted two Seattle-based facilities. While developing a new proposal, ETS will launch a new mobile clinic this summer with an additional $1 million City investment. ETS is committed to providing impactful services to meet Seattle’s emergent needs. 

“Evergreen Treatment Services deeply appreciates being considered a finalist for this award, which would go towards the funding of our Health and Recovery Campus on Airport Way S,” said Steve Woolworth, Chief Executive Officer, Evergreen Treatment Services. “The campus will expand opioid use disorder treatment through an innovative urgent care model that pairs an outpatient clinic and dispensary with a fleet of mobile medical units (MMUs), bringing life-saving medication to vulnerable populations across Seattle and King County.” 

DESC and ETS are integral to the ecosystem of first and secondary response services connected to downtown. First response includes outreach, the Seattle Fire Department’s Health One/99 teams, crisis hotlines; secondary response can include therapy and counseling, hospitals, and health services. Collaboratively they meet the needs of individuals in need and can support the wellbeing of the broader community. 

The Seattle Human Services Department led a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the facilities funding process. The RFQ is based on a stakeholder-informed design from the University of Washington Addictions, Drug and Alcohol Institute (ADAI). Stakeholders providing design input included those with lived experience, experts in addiction medicine, and emergency medical services providers. The ADAI will research the programs’ impact through a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.  



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