Office of Neighborhoods
Homeless and Direct Outreach
The Office of Neighborhoods teams up law enforcement with social workers who go out into the field – literally – to identify, locate, and connect with homeless and vulnerable populations in the county. The goal is to foster long-term relationships and break the cycle of homelessness, mental health, and/or chemical dependency in our county.
Under the leadership of Sgt. Ryan Boyer, the team includes Law Enforcement Embedded Social Workers (LEESWs) who help homeless individuals locate and navigate social and health services. Together, Office of Neighborhoods deputies and police officers and LEESWs assist frequent jail utilizers, the homeless, and the mentally ill to find services they need and lessen the likelihood of re-offending, law enforcement contact, or incarceration.
“The reason we haven’t been able to arrest our way out of homelessness, or untreated mental illness and addiction, is because you don’t solve these problems with a pair of handcuffs and a trip to jail,” said Sheriff Ty Trenary. “Communities need established partnerships and long-term, multifaceted solutions that are based on the needs of a single person to get them on the right track.”
The goal is to expand current crime prevention efforts (such as Neighborhood Watch and National Night Out). Community Outreach also includes:
- Community Resource Guide - Working with Fire District 1, Snohomish County Human Services, and students from University of Washington Bothell, we created a guide to local social services for first responders. The guide lists existing resources available in the community, including government, non-profit and faith-based programs. By providing police and emergency medical services this information, we can help people find the social services they need, rather than having them rely on emergency services for continued care.