Everett Creates “Give Responsibly” Video For Those Directly Donating On City’s Streets

December 4, 2017

Everett Government

The City of Everett has created a video to give people in Everett suggestions on how to best donate to people living on the streets. Here it is…

In an effort to make donations go further this holiday season and to reduce negative impacts, the City of Everett encourages community members to “give responsibly,” by giving goods, food, time or money to local service organizations, rather than giving directly to those on the streets.

Over the past few years, the city has seen an increase in the number of individuals and groups handing out food or meals to people on the streets. While such donations may meet an immediate need, they can also create waste and an unsanitary environment on the streets, as well as missed opportunities for engagement.

“(When) donating to a group of individuals without an organization, what happens is people will sell those things for money, or maybe trade for drugs, or some other unintended consequence that we aren’t hoping for,” said Kaitlyn Dowd, an embedded social worker with Everett Police. “What we would hope, is that it would go somewhere, and then be handed out, and people would only get as much as they need for that time.”

In certain areas of the city, direct donations to those on the street have led to accumulations of debris, creating a health hazard and an unsightly mess for neighboring businesses. Regardless of what is donated, when it’s given through a service provider, local agencies can match that donation with multiple people and families to ensure that every item is used and doesn’t end up discarded on the street.

Volunteering or donating food through a food bank or established meal program ensures meals are properly handled and offered in a safe, clean environment where people can be connected with services. Community members can also provide financial support, including through the City’s Safe Streets Flex Fund, which assists individuals in overcoming obstacles as they transition off of the streets.

For those who are interested in engaging directly with those on the street, there are several reputable organizations in Everett that make it possible to do just that. Agencies such as Mercy Watch, Salvation Army, Cocoon House and Everett Gospel Mission, allow volunteers to have meaningful connections and interactions with those experiencing homelessness.

The City’s website includes a list of local service providers, as well as opportunities for financial support: www.everettwa.gov/giveresponsibly. Learn more about unintended consequences by hearing from some of the service providers themselves on the City’s YouTube page, or learn more about the City’s Safe Streets plan by visiting www.everettwa.gov/safestreets.


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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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