Outreach teams from King County and the City of Seattle are on patrol around downtown and parts of Capitol Hill to help people on the streets get out of the cold. You can help by dialing 2-1-1.
The King County Emergency Services Patrol, funded by the county and the city, is “operating 24/7 during the weekend to help people who are living on the streets in downtown Seattle” and “out meeting with people who are experiencing homelessness to encourage them to come inside during the winter storm.”
But you can also help out by calling 2-1-1 to let the outreach teams know about somebody who may need help.
You can also call 9-1-1 but reports from some callers say that the emergency dispatchers haven’t treated the shelter shuttle calls as priorities.
The county and the city have increased available shelters and warming facilities through the recent storms and into next week. A roster of severe weather shelters is here.
The BIAs of Ballard, Chinatown/International District, University District, Pioneer Square, and SODO are collaborating in our efforts to engage with city, county, and state officials to address the increasing challenges our businesses are experiencing with drug dealers/users, public disorder, threatening behaviors and crime toward our customers and employees.
We want to invite you to attend a constructive conversation with our elected officials about the problems and solutions to our public safety concerns.
Questions? Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Facilitator Introductions – 5 minutes
2. BIA Panel Presentation – 40 minutes
What BIAs are doing
Business, employee, and customer concerns
BIA request for action
3. City, County, State responses – 40 minutes
4. Public Comment – 30 minutes
PORTLAND, Ore. — They huddled against the biting wind, pacing from one corner to another hoping to score heroin or pills. But a different drug was far more likely to be on offer outside the train station downtown, where homeless drug users live in tents pitched on the sidewalk.
“Everybody has meth around here — everybody,” said Sean, a 27-year-old heroin user who hangs out downtown and gave only his first name. “It’s the easiest to find.”
The scourge of crystal meth, with its exploding labs and ruinous effect on teeth and skin, has been all but forgotten amid national concern over the opioid crisis. But 12 years after Congress took aggressive action to curtail it, meth has returned with a vengeance.
Seattle/King County Clinic brings together healthcare organizations, civic agencies, non-profits, private businesses and volunteers from across the State of Washington to produce a giant free health clinic in KeyArena at Seattle Center. The four-day volunteer-driven clinic provides a full range of free dental, vision and medical care to underserved and vulnerable populations in the region. The next Clinic is scheduled for October 26 – 29, 2017.
2014 – 2016 Achievements:
Over $10 million in direct services
120,000+ volunteer hours
The opiate epidemic in King County is growing. The King County Opiate Addiction Task Force has recommended a new comprehensive strategy to fight this crisis, including the opening of two pilot safe consumption spaces. In these facilities, healthcare professionals can prevent overdose deaths, reduce the spread of diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C, and efficiently refer people struggling with addiction to treatment. Tell the King County Council to support this safe, effective, and scientifically proven method of responding to the opiate epidemic.
URGE KING COUNTY TO FOLLOW THE OPIATE TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATIONS
In recent weeks, East Precinct officers have been trained to participate in the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program. LEAD now joins the already functioning Multi-Disciplinary Team program on Capitol Hill in giving law enforcement new options and resources for dealing with addiction. Officials are looking at ways the two programs can work together.
According to Public Defender Association director Lisa Daugaard, all East Precinct police officers will be trained to participate in LEAD by the end of the month. Until now only West Precinct officers have been able to recommend people for LEAD participation. There was initial talk of only expanding the program to Capitol Hill, but “Capitol Hill community leaders actually pushed for inclusion of the rest of the precinct on racial justice grounds,” because, according to Daugaard, community leaders felt that parts of the East Precinct with a higher percentage of minorities than Capitol Hill should also benefit from the program. Daugaard said she anticipates that once East Precinct officers have been trained, “there will probably be significantly more referrals” for the LEAD program.
Mayor Ed Murray announced the planned expansion of the MDT and LEAD programs to Capitol Hill in fall 2015. MDT was expanded to Capitol Hill in January, and Metropolitan Improvement District vice president Dave Willard said so far results have been “pretty encouraging.” Outreach workers for MDT joined East Precinct officers on patrols, and now those officers are being trained to do some outreach of their own.
Meanwhile, another potential public health intervention for chronic drug users is making the rounds in Seattle. A mock safe consumption site for drug users set up by VOCAL Washington is making stops on Capitol Hill this week. The site targets users who inject and provides low-threshold access to a supervised space to consume pre-obtained illicit drugs, clean equipment, emergency care in the case of overdoses, and referrals to healthcare and drug treatment services if desired by the user.
On Monday, the site was set up in Cal Anderson from noon to 7 PM. Advocate Ashley Hempelmann said safe consumption sites cut down on transferrals of drug users to hospitals and public disorder. There are no cities in the U.S. currently using safe consumption sites.
VOCAL’s Patricia Sully said the pop-up site in the middle a city park is a way to make it easy for lots of people to learn more about how the resource would work — not demonstrate an actual working consumption site.