Direct Donations Make Smith Street Trash Issue Worse

Smith Street

Crews use a loader and dump truck to clean the area along Smith Street.

Currently Everett Public Works crews go twice a week down to the area of the 3700 block of Smith Street under I-5 just north of the Everett Gospel Mission to clean trash and debris left by those who hang out there.

Last night Everett Police Lt. Bosman told the Everett City Council that they’re going to need to increase their pickups to three times a week due to the large amount of trash being left. Crews have to use front loaders and dump trucks to haul debris away while Everett Police officers stand by to provide security.

Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman made the following statements in a city update released today…

“Our officers routinely have to call out our public works crews to clean up piles of trash and other items from Smith Avenue,” said Templeman. “We know that well-intentioned groups and individuals are dropping off food and other items directly to those living on the streets. Unfortunately, that has led to a pile-up of debris, which negatively affects nearby businesses and residents, and has created hazards in these areas.”

“We’ve also learned from our conversations with those on the streets that these direct donations can decrease their motivation to seek services and treatment,” said Templeman. “We are fortunate to have a community that wants to help those in need, and we encourage people to donate to the many local organizations who are providing services to our homeless citizens.”

The City maintains an online list of service organizations that support those on the streets in Everett.

Another item of note in today’s update from Chief Templeman is the confirmation that many of the people hanging out at Smith Street are not experiencing homelessness…

On Dec. 3, officers arrested four people for alleged drug offenses, including smoking meth on the sidewalk. At least two of the individuals reported that they were not homeless; one said she had come to the area to visit friends. All of the people contacted by officers that evening declined offers of treatment or other services.

You can see the entire update on cleanup and enforcement efforts at Smith Street last week and get more information on Everett’s Safe Street plan by clicking here.

About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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