As a citizen of Everett, member of Trinity Lutheran Church, leader in my neighborhood association, and participant in Everett Faith in Action, I want to express my strong support for the steps that the city has taken through its Safe Streets plan to address the crisis of homelessness, addiction and mental illness in our community.
I live downtown and I am well aware of the toll this worsening crisis has taken on our businesses and residents. Yet, I also know that the city is saving lives and taxpayer dollars with its approach. I have attended multiple meetings where I have heard Everett police officers and the social workers detail what they are doing that is part of the Safe Streets plan. They believe that — while the going is slow — they are making progress.
Through the CHART program, service providers and the city collaborate to reduce utilization of city and county services, including extremely expensive emergency medical care, by the most frequent users through housing these individuals with support services. The city’s Safe Streets initiatives that are already in place are strategic and cost-effective steps toward dealing with a major socio-economic problem.
It is important for people of Everett to learn about the Safe Streets Plan and what it has accomplished already, and also consider ways we can strengthen what is already in place as well as expand it. It is imperative for the well being of our whole community that we find a way forward together.
The Rev. Carol A. Jensen