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ETS NEWS AND MEDIA COVERAGE

Recent national and local media coverage of Evergreen Treatment Services and our REACH and Clinic Services teams. Stay informed about efforts to address the drug epidemic, housing crisis, and issues around community justice.

SCOTUS decisions on homelessness

SCOTUS decisions on homelessness

Experts predict that if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns protections for homeless people on the West Coast, many cities will follow with harsher penalties for people living outside in tents, under tarps and in vehicles. Read more.

Care for older unhoused people

Care for older unhoused people

Programs are sprouting across the country to provide nursing home and rehabilitation services to homeless people who would otherwise shuttle between hospitals and the street. Read more.

Short-term recovery center in Seattle

Short-term recovery center in Seattle

Seattle will open a new space for people to recover and receive treatment for nearly 24 hours after they have overdosed on fentanyl or other drugs, Mayor Bruce Harrell announced Thursday. Read more.

UDP’s partnership with REACH

UDP’s partnership with REACH

To help combat the growing homelessness crisis in the U-District, the U District Partnership (UDP) partnered with Evergreen Treatment Services’ REACH Program to launch a homeless outreach program in 2019. Read more.

Mental health help over the phone in WA

Mental health help over the phone in WA

Washington state is heading into a new stage as it tries to develop better systems for responding to mental health crises: It’s placing counselors for its 988 mental health crisis hotline alongside staff who answer 911 calls. Read more.

Homelessness in Ballard

Homelessness in Ballard

Ballard is a bit of an anomaly. Despite being one of the wealthier residential neighborhoods in Seattle, a lot of people are living outside there. Read more.

Pilot program allowing paramedics to administer buprenorphine

Pilot program allowing paramedics to administer buprenorphine

Mayor Bruce Harrell joined Seattle Fire Department (SFD) Chief Harold Scoggins, SFD Medical Director Dr. Michael Sayre and other leaders today to announce the launch of a new pilot program in Seattle that allows SFD’s paramedics to administer a new medicine in the field. Read more.

Incarcerated people in WA

Incarcerated people in WA

People incarcerated by Washington have to work for as little as $1 per hour while paying unfair costs to stay healthy and connected with the outside world, says a new report by Columbia Legal Services based partly on survey responses and interviews with dozens of people in the state’s prisons. Read more.

Burien at center of homelessness debate

Burien at center of homelessness debate

In less than a year, the city of Burien went from fretting about how to get people indoors to enacting a strict camping law that makes it nearly impossible to live unsheltered there. Read more.

Road to recovery on TIM

Road to recovery on TIM

The day after Christmas, a large white truck bearing the initials ETS pulled up next to the Community Lifeline homeless shelter in downtown Shelton. Read more.

Severe weather shelters fill fast

Severe weather shelters fill fast

On what could be one of the coldest weekends of the year, the majority of people living outside on Seattle’s streets and across King County didn’t have an indoor space to sleep. Read more.

How to Get People Help That Works

How to Get People Help That Works

Experience suggests that many more people would make use of treatments if only they were easier to access: In other countries and in many U.S. states, when the barriers to addiction treatment have been lowered, treatment uptake has increased, and overdose rates have fallen. Read more.

HUD reports record-high homelessness count

HUD reports record-high homelessness count

Homelessness is on the rise in the United States, and it’s growing at a rate never seen before, according to data released Friday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Read more.

Oregon’s drug decriminalization law faces growing pushback

Oregon’s drug decriminalization law faces growing pushback

Oregon’s first-in-the-nation law that decriminalized the possession of small amounts of heroin, cocaine and other illicit drugs in favor of an emphasis on addiction treatment is facing strong headwinds in the progressive state after an explosion of public drug use fueled by the proliferation of fentanyl and a surge in deaths from opioids, including those of children. Read more.

Burien receives deadline to take $1 million for shelter

Burien receives deadline to take $1 million for shelter

King County has given Burien a deadline of Nov. 27 to take its offer of $1 million and 35 shed-like shelters to address the city’s small but growing unsheltered homeless population. If the city doesn’t accept by that date, the county says those resources could go elsewhere. Read more.

Takeaways from expert panel on fentanyl crisis

Takeaways from expert panel on fentanyl crisis

In a live, public event held at Seattle Public Library’s downtown location, The Seattle Times gathered local experts to share more about the fentanyl epidemic, including treatment options and how policymakers should respond. Read more.

Campus recovery groups support students

Campus recovery groups support students

At least half a dozen student-led groups across the state provide space to socialize and make friends in ways that don’t revolve around partying and give voice to the importance of having fentanyl test strips and naloxone readily available on campus. Read more.

Narcan Available Over-the-Counter

Narcan Available Over-the-Counter

Narcan, the first opioid overdose reversal medication approved for over-the-counter purchase, is being shipped to drugstore and grocery chains nationwide. Big-box outlets like Walgreens, CVS, Walmart and Rite Aid said they expected Narcan to be available online and on many store shelves early next week. Read more.

Rep. Adam Smith Visits ETS

Rep. Adam Smith Visits ETS

Rep. Adam Smith and Dr. Delphin-Rittmon of SAMSHA sat down at Evergreen Treatment Services for a discussion about the nationwide substance use crisis and the steps we can take at the local, state, and federal level to address this crisis. Read more.

The pandemic transformed shelter

The pandemic transformed shelter

Pre-pandemic, accessing emergency shelter in the Seattle area often meant being packed into a room with strangers on all sides. The pandemic spurred radical changes in the homeless shelter system, leading to more space, more privacy, and more autonomy for people. Read more.

What does treatment in Seattle look like?

What does treatment in Seattle look like?

The drug treatment landscape in the Seattle area is vast, ranging from low-barrier harm-reduction work to lengthy residential inpatient treatment centers. The core of substance-use disorder treatment falls into three categories: medication-assisted treatment, outpatient treatment and inpatient treatment. Read more.

Cantwell holds fentanyl roundtable

Cantwell holds fentanyl roundtable

Cantwell’s roundtable participants included Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell, the city’s police and fire chiefs, Evergreen Treatment Services CEO Steve Woolworth, University of Washington researcher Caleb Banta-Green, and a mother who lost her 20-year-old son after he bought what he thought was a painkiller that turned out to contain fentanyl. Read more.

Readers respond to outreach

Readers respond to outreach

Readers responded to a June 4 article “Outreach, Outside,” about downtown street-outreach worker Mikel Kowalcyk and the clientele she helps. Read more.

Multnomah County to pause safe smoking supplies

Multnomah County to pause safe smoking supplies

The Multnomah County Health Department was slated to provide smoking supplies to fentanyl and meth users starting this month in an effort to dissuade them from using needles to inject the drugs, which can lead to more potent, fatal doses and the spread of diseases. Read more.

Encampment clearings receive mixed results

Encampment clearings receive mixed results

A majority of Seattleites say they approve of the city’s increased clearing of homeless encampments in the past few years, based on a June poll. But they are less enthusiastic on how successful this approach is. Read more.

Harsh New Fentanyl Laws Ignite Debate

Harsh New Fentanyl Laws Ignite Debate

To many public health experts, the tough new fentanyl laws seem like a replay of the war-on-drugs sentencing era of the 1980s and 90s that responded to crack and powder cocaine. They worry the result will be similar: The incarcerated will be mostly low-level dealers, particularly people of color, who may be selling to support their own use. Read more.

Treatment access in King County

Treatment access in King County

DCHS, Public Health, and many community providers are working to increase access to life-saving medications such as methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. These medications can reduce the risk of overdose and reduce the recurrence of opioid use by stabilizing withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Read more.

Walk the beat with REACH

Walk the beat with REACH

Longtime REACH worker Mikel Kowalcyk is intimately familiar with downtown blocks, and describes them as a kind of bog. “People get stuck there,” she says. “Because that’s where the drugs are. It’s a community of people using together. And as a city, we’ve never had the resources we need to assist them.” Read more.

Extreme heat shelters

Extreme heat shelters

Due to extreme heat, with temperatures in the 80’s and potentially higher, KCRHA is activating Severe Weather Response protocols in Seattle from Saturday, May 13 through Monday, May 15. Read more.

Behavioral Health Crisis Care Centers Act Introduced

Behavioral Health Crisis Care Centers Act Introduced

Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) introduced the Behavioral Health Crisis Care Centers Act, which would provide grant funding for states, cities and counties, and tribal governments to build and expand crisis stabilization services with housing assistance and other wrap around services. Read more.

Drug possession laws uncertain

Drug possession laws uncertain

The Washington House voted down a last-minute deal to maintain a criminal penalty for drug possession and boost funding for treatment on the final day of the legislative session, leaving the state’s drug laws in question. Read more.

Era of mass incarceration winds down

Era of mass incarceration winds down

Decades of mass incarceration have resulted in a prison population growing older and more enfeebled, and has introduced the challenge of reintegrating people coming out after long sentences, often with few skills, into a society that technology has made alienatingly unfamiliar. Read more.

What to know about Narcan

What to know about Narcan

This month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved selling Narcan without a prescription, a victory for longtime advocates calling on the agency to make the lifesaving drug more accessible. Read more.

Transformative waterfront park to be completed in 2025

Transformative waterfront park to be completed in 2025

“The decision to build the tunnel provided the city with an opportunity to reclaim and connect downtown to our waterfront. The goal of this program is to create a waterfront for all, for people of all walks of life to enjoy,” said Angela Brady, waterfront program director of the City of Seattle. Read more.

King County is on Pace for a Record Year of Overdose Deaths

King County is on Pace for a Record Year of Overdose Deaths

Tricia Howe, who directs an outreach program for drug users at REACH, Evergreen Treatment Services’ homeless outreach program, had firsthand experience of King County’s overdose crisis earlier this summer. In a matter of weeks, there were two overdoses outside REACH’s Belltown office. Read more.

Her son was addicted to heroin and died by suicide. He’s not alone

Her son was addicted to heroin and died by suicide. He’s not alone

People with substance use disorders have a significantly heightened risk of suicide. Compared with the general population, risk of suicide is about 14 times higher among people addicted to heroin and prescribed opioids and about five to 10 times higher among those dependent on alcohol or meth. The statistics are staggering, experts agree. And yet they likely underestimate the overlap between addiction and suicide. Read more.

Successful end to Dearborn encampment

Successful end to Dearborn encampment

A six-week effort to remove a homeless camp may become a model for other efforts to help people off the streets in King County.

Until a few days ago, the encampment at S Dearborn St and I-5 had been a source of crime and neighborhood concerns. However, a collaborative, multi-agency approach managed to bring just about everyone inside. Read more.

Something Better Than a Tent for the Homeless

Something Better Than a Tent for the Homeless

The needs of homeowners and businesses and those of people who are unsheltered often conflict. Community leaders, faced with increasing crime and disorder, frequently see police sweeps as the only answer, while advocates for homeless people argue that this response is merely a stopgap that does more damage than good. Read more.

America’s Homelessness Crisis Is Getting Worse

America’s Homelessness Crisis Is Getting Worse

America’s homelessness problem has the makings of an acute crisis. Shelters across the U.S. are reporting a surge in people looking for help, with wait lists doubling or tripling in recent months. The number of homeless people outside of shelters is also probably rising, experts say. Some of them live in encampments, which have popped up in parks and other public spaces in major cities from Washington, D.C., to Seattle since the pandemic began. Read more.

Consistently hot temperatures take toll on Seattle’s most vulnerable people

Consistently hot temperatures take toll on Seattle’s most vulnerable people

Much of the low-income and public housing in Seattle is older, made of concrete or brick, and lacks air conditioning. After four days of temperatures reaching 90-plus degrees, some people who live in the affordable housing building, Pacific Apartments in Pioneer Square, and the outdoors are feeling the impact. They have fewer means to escape the effects of extreme heat and are more likely to have weakened immune systems. Read more.

Pandemic overdose deaths spiked among people of color

Pandemic overdose deaths spiked among people of color

Overdose death rates in the U.S. increased dramatically in 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic arrived, especially among Black, American Indian and Alaska Native individuals, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as deadly synthetic opioids flooded the nation and access to treatment remained elusive for millions of Americans. Read more.

Clean-up of notorious Green River homeless encampment

Clean-up of notorious Green River homeless encampment

On July 13, the King County Road Services Division will begin clearing garbage and debris that has accumulated on a section of Green River Road between Kent and Auburn in unincorporated King County. This comes after a recent three-day effort by King County, the King County Regional Homelessness Authority, and non-profits, including the Salvation Army, REACH, and Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission, ending on Saturday, to reduce the number of individuals experiencing homelessness living at the encampment and connect them with shelter and services. Read more.

JustCARE model finds a new path forward, but with a twist

JustCARE model finds a new path forward, but with a twist

Days before funding was set to expire on a politically popular homelessness program, the King County Regional Homelessness Authority and the city of Seattle finalized a deal to continue the work of JustCare, a pandemic-born outreach and shelter program, and to prevent around 60 homeless clients from losing their shelter. Read more.
Arresting Unhoused People Doesn’t Fix Homelessness. Police Do It Anyway.

Arresting Unhoused People Doesn’t Fix Homelessness. Police Do It Anyway.

This is a tension that’s playing out across West Coast cities, as the combination of a mental health crisis and a decade long real estate boom have created a new, especially vulnerable, especially visible generation of the unhoused. They’re “unsheltered,” meaning they live in cars, tents and makeshift shelters on the streets, rather than in shelters. Over the decade between 2009 and 2019, unsheltered homelessness continued to grow in California, Oregon and Washington, even as it declined in major cities outside the West Coast. And as the unsheltered increasingly live on streets in residential neighborhoods, their new neighbors have turned to one place for help in particular: the police. Read more. 

Crime and community define one of downtown Seattle’s most complex areas

Crime and community define one of downtown Seattle’s most complex areas

The particulars have changed, as has its center of gravity: First Avenue to Second to Third. Its name also shifts, depending on who’s talking about which decade. Old-timers recalling the 1960s say “Skid Row.” Needle-exchange workers from the ’80s talk about “Penney’s Corner” (after a nearby JCPenney). To Deputy Seattle City Attorney Scott Lindsay, it’s “3P” (for Third and Pike/Pine). In 1990, an article about crack cocaine by Seattle Weekly writer Eric Scigliano reported that dealers were calling it “The Blade.” That name stuck.

Whatever you call it, the overall milieu has tremendous sticking power — despite gentrification and repeated police interventions. Read more.

Washington food banks test innovations as food insecurity grows

Washington food banks test innovations as food insecurity grows

On a recent Friday, Soledad Brown, a volunteer at the Rainier Valley Food Bank, was grateful for a day without rain. A line of 30 or 40 people wound around the building and into the parking lot as customers waited for bags of groceries. “Yesterday I got drenched,” Brown said. “I always try to brighten everyone’s day.”

A former client of the South Seattle food bank, Brown has been an energetic presence here for three years. She takes two buses and the light rail from Des Moines every weekday to help distribute food and make patrons feel welcome. Brown said she has noticed that demand for food hasn’t declined this year. Even as businesses reopen, and the state’s unemployment level is back down near 4%, the need for food assistance remains high. Read more.