Former homeless camp needs needles and garbage cleaned up

The Hand Up Project will lead a volunteer effort this weekend on wooded land south of Everett.

EVERETT — Volunteers are needed to help remove brush, garbage and thousands of heroin needles from a homeless camp south of Everett.

Robert Smiley, of the Hand Up Project, will lead the cleanup from Friday morning to Monday evening on private wooded land off of Avondale Road, behind the Home Depot at 11915 Highway 99.

He expects dozens of volunteers from various charities, but could always use more. In their latest sweep, the Hand Up Project and a coalition of workers removed 2,793 hypodermic needles from forested land behind a retirement community on 112th Street SW.

At the site near Home Depot, Smiley believes the needles could number in excess of 5,000. Smiley, a recovering drug addict, walked through the camp with a small crew Friday.

Needles and garbage littered the ground with almost every step.

The Hand Up Project aims to get people addicted to drugs and alcohol off the streets, by offering transportation and drug-free homes to recovering addicts.

For more information, or to sign up, go to thehandupproject.org.

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