For 26 years, Seattle’s Bailey-Boushay House has been providing care for HIV/AIDS patients. That care has been mostly provided as in-patient care but Seattle’s problem with increasing rates of homelessness has led the facility to provide shelter for the homeless living with HIV.
Mayor Jenny Durkan’s “Path to 500 Plan” managed to find city funding to help Bailey-Boushay turn meeting space in their Madison Valley facility into a nightly homeless shelter for up to 50 people with HIV. It’s being hailed as one of the first such programs in the country.
“Everybody in the program is HIV positive, so chronically ill. It’s important they get access to health care,” said Matt Williams, director of outpatient programs for the Bailey-Boushay House.
The facility, run by Virginia Mason Hospital, has roughly 400 clients, almost a third of which are homeless. This month, it started allowing some of those patients to use the facility as a shelter, thanks to an infusion of city funds.
Williams says that’s meant converted meeting and physician space to rooms with cots and privacy dividers. They’ve also brought in storage units so homeless patients can store their personal belongings. It was the result of about $250,000 worth of funding from the deal that added over $6 million to creating shelter throughout the city.