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Space Emergencies


Artists sometimes face emergencies regarding housing, work space and even storage needs. Your landlord might suddenly evict you, or an unexpected disaster such as a fire might strike. You might not be able to find affordable space, or occupy a new space for some time.

Despite these unfortunate possibilities, you have options. This chapter discusses where to seek help, and provides resources for accessing space.

Living Space

If you are literally homeless -- i.e., you do not have a place to call home -- turning to friends and family for refuge is your first line of defense. If these resources do not exist, human and social service organizations, spiritual and religious institutions and the City of Seattle work together to assist Seattlites in need.

First explore community-based organizations and religious/spiritual institutions with which you are familiar, such as the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army. If you need immediate assistance, the City of Seattle Department of Health and Human Services (DSHS) is your next best resource for accessing local support. 

Consider participating in a shared housing program, in which you live with either a special needs or elderly homeowner. You provide security and companionship in exchange for room and board, which may either be free or a nominal fee. Programs, living arrangement and costs vary.

Rooming or boarding houses also offer a possible affordable option when faced with a housing emergency. Costs vary from location to location. Some options might include meals or allow day use of the facilities (showers, cooking, washing, etc.), while others may provide single rooms or dormitory-style living. You can start your search for these types of spaces with the YMCA of Seattle offer a variety of rooming options.

Hostels are another low-cost alternative. Hostels are traditionally short-term rooming houses used primarily by travelers. For more information about hostels, visit, Hostel World or Hostelling International USA.

Seattle Emergency Housing
There are several resources for emergency shelter in Seattle. DSHS has a strong network of area social service providers to connect individuals and their families to local housing resources. Additionally the DESC, Downtown Emergency Service Center has many resources for people in emergent situations.

The following are a few options:

  • Emergency Response Shelters (ERS) : Overnight shelters that provide initial assessment of clients, information and referrals. Most shelters for single adults close during the day-time hours. However, shelters that service families normally remain open 24 hours a day. Some ERSs are seasonal, opening during the winter months and other times of intense need. ERSs are meant to provide one or two nights' stay while more adequate living arrangements are made.

  • Domestic Violence : Emergency housing is available for victims of domestic violence and their If you have been abused by an intimate partner, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233.If you have been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Resource Center: 1-888-656-4673

  • Transitional Shelters : Here are resources for transitional and emergency housing:

Work Space

Try to temporarily share work space with friends or colleagues. Perhaps you can find someone who uses their studio during the daytime, and you could use it in the evenings for a few weeks. If you can afford to rent short-term space, consider the researching space using following:

Storage Space

If you need emergency storage space, many companies in Seattle offer private storage units for rent. Most storage facilities have 24-hour security, with surveillance cameras, electronic check-in and staff on-hand for at least part of the day.

Each "tenant" receives personal access to the main building, and has an individual lock and key for their own storage unit. If your work and/or materials are especially sensitive to environmental changes, some companies offer personally managed, climate-controlled units at a higher cost. Check the local telephone directory or Smart to find a facility that meets your needs.

Companies such as U-Haul, PODS, Public Storage and Metro Self Storage have Websites that will assist you in checking availability and prices at various locations, and offer rentals of vehicles to assist you in moving your belongings. Comparison-shop for units. Companies that rent vehicles might offer special promotions that combine vehicle rental with free storage, such as U-Haul or Metro Self Storage. Ask about special deals when calling about renting a storage unit.

Living Space
Work Space
Storage Space
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