CBE Research Portal

October 12, 2020

Clean Hands Collective

Seattle is a city known for its homelessness crisis—in 2015, the City declared a homelessness state of emergency, and today we have the third largest population of homeless individuals in the country. When businesses and public buildings closed at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the unhoused suddenly had even less access to hand washing facilities, making our most vulnerable population more vulnerable still. Even before the outbreak of COVID-19, the City auditor found that the city fell woefully short of providing enough public hygiene facilities; this situation was only exacerbated by “Stay at Home” orders and continued business closures.

The Clean Hands Collective is a seemingly simple, bottom up, community-based project that both augments and critiques this lack of hygiene infrastructure in the midst of a public health crisis. The project provides access to clean water, ensuring that all members of our community are able to protect themselves.