2016 Smith Street Clean Up Costs Top $150k

November 22, 2016

Everett, Everett Government

Smith Street

A look before the clean up.

It’s just a one block stretch of road but so far in 2016 the cost to clean up Smith Street from 36th to 37th is estimated by the City of Everett to be near $160,000.00. The City sends crews three days a week to clean up Smith Street. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, street sweepers, dump trucks and a bulldozer are used. In addition, more than half a dozen public works employees and several Everett Police officers are also part of the process. Here’s a look at what the process looked like on Monday as MyEverettNews.com watched a typical clean up. Click photos to enlarge.

Smith Street

Everett Police ask people to gather their things.

Smith Street

Crews begin at the north end.

Smith street

A dump truck is brought in.

Smith street

A bulldozer starts at the north end.

Smith street

The dozer is loaded as it goes south on Smith Street.

Smith Street

The first load is placed in the dump truck and the process repeated.

Smith Street

After about an hour and 15 minutes…

Smith

In March Everett put up signs to discourage direct giving on Smith street

The cleanup has been going on for the last two years starting with once a week and increasing now to three times per week. In March of this year the City of Everett began posting signs urging people to not donate directly to the people in the 3600 block of Smith Street. At the time they posted the signs city officials explained the situation this way…

We recently posted signs at Smith Avenue to encourage community members to donate to organizations serving the homeless, rather than directly to those on the streets. Drop-off of food, clothing, bedding and furniture on Smith Avenue leads to unsanitary conditions and an excess of trash and debris along the roadway.

“We are so grateful for our generous community members who want to help those in need in Everett,” said Chief Dan Templeman. “Unfortunately, these efforts can have the unintended consequence of creating unsafe buildups of garbage on our streets, which also has a negative effect on nearby businesses and residents.”

So how can people provide direct help? One of the ways is to help at the Everett Gospel Mission instead of competing with them. John Hull at the Everett Gospel Mission provided MyEverettNews.com with some great examples of ways to help those on Smith Street.

Much of the well intentioned work under the bridge and throughout our community can be in conflict with the efforts of the mission and desired future that has been articulated by our community’s leadership.  We all desire to show compassion and mercy to those experiencing poverty and homelessness, yet sometimes our help can hurt more than it helps.  Particularly when we concentrate solely on relief and neglect helping persons move toward rehabilitation and development opportunities happening in our community.

Volunteering

We are all full up for volunteers this thanksgiving, but could still use turkey as we distribute food boxes as well as the meals we will distribute on Thanksgiving day.  I would encourage our community that people face the suffering and isolation of poverty every day.  They need the relationship that comes with volunteers serving throughout the year, so consider a regular effort at the mission throughout the year and not just the holidays.

We have a few groups that use our kitchen to prepare and serve meals to our guest and would welcome more.  Smaller groups can help prepare or even take over our kitchen under the supervision of our staff to prep and present a full meal.  Most meals are served cafeteria style, but larger groups (15 or more) that want more direct contact can schedule a time to directly serve our guest as waiters.  Some groups have hosted “parties” with live music and games.

To schedule volunteering please direct person to contact our volunteer team by emailing volunteeer@egmission.org.  They can also learn more at our website, http://www.egmission.org/get-involved/

Shelter Access

Our beds are not always full, though they often are.  The reasons people are on the streets even when beds are available are myriad:

  • Mental health is often a barrier that prevents someone from being able to stay in a large busy environment like the shelter either by their own choice our inability to serve their needs safely
  • Social anxiety. Our space is limited and cozy
  • Past negative experience at the mission
  • Some are restricted from access to the mission due to lack of compliance to our community conduct expectations
  • A partner is on the streets and they wish to stay with them
  • They have too much property to bring into the mission and don’t wish to part with it
  • Some are using or want to use and we are not a low barrier shelter.  If we observe that you are under the influence we will ask you to leave.

What else should people know.

EGM is a leader in gospel oriented poverty alleviation efforts in our county. We not only serve those who come to our doors but also offer training throughout the county.  If your group (faith community, business, community group) wishes to learn more about poverty, specifically how to move toward helping without hurting, we would love to discuss how we can serve you.  Homelessness and poverty are solved at a community level through relationship.  Let us help you understand better how to overcome the barriers to relational poverty alleviation.  For more information email FeedHopeHere@egmission.org

 

One other way to help is to give to the City of Everett’s Streets Initiative Flex Fund. Here’s how that works…

We have established a Streets Initiative Fund to provide immediate assistance for our chronically homeless residents as they confront barriers while seeking solutions for the challenges they face.
The Fund will enable the City’s embedded social workers, law enforcement officers, and CHART team to offer a variety of simple but necessary interventions. This support can make the difference between a new start and more of the same, between homeless and housed, and, at times, between life and death. The fund will help fill the gaps in services and financial obstacles our most challenged residents confront during that brief turning point when they are ready for help.

Examples of what the funds may be used for:

To transport (plane tickets, bus tickets etc.) an individual to medical appointments, detox, treatment, housing, or community/family of origin
To provide a long-stay at a hotel for a homeless individual awaiting housing, detox, or services
To provide groceries or vouchers for food
To provide an ID card at the Department of Motor Vehicles
To help clean clothes at the laundromat
To provide incidentals while in transition to treatment or housing, such as shoes, clothes, bedding, toiletries, or communication devices.
Details:

Donations are tax-deductible under section 170(c)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code since it will be made for a public purpose. The City’s Federal ID # is 91-6001248
Checks are made to City of Everett
Include your name and mailing address so a receipt can be mailed to you
Mail or deliver checks to:

City of Everett, Community Streets Initiative Fund
Jaimee Hudson
2930 Wetmore Ave, Suite 9E
Everett, WA 98201

Questions? Call 425-257-7195 or email jhudson@everettwa.gov

Click to learn more about the Everett Gospel Mission.

Click to learn more about the Everett Gospel Mission.

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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