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Sheriff’s Office of Neighborhoods to Receive Human Rights Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  December 8, 2016

CONTACT: Shari Ireton, Director of Communications, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, 425-388-3377, Media line:  425-249-6263

EVERETT, WASH. – The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office of Neighborhoods homeless outreach unit will receive the 2016 Human Rights Law Award from the Snohomish County Human Rights Commission this Saturday in recognition of the unit’s extraordinary contribution in furthering the dignity and rights of the county’s homeless, addicted, and mentally ill.

“I’m incredibly proud of the Office of Neighborhoods team,” said Sheriff Ty Trenary. “As Sheriff, I believe that criminalizing homelessness and untreated mental illness and addiction does nothing to end it.  At a time when police agencies across this country are being called out for violence and discrimination, the Office of Neighborhoods team is actively promoting and protecting the human rights of our county’s most marginalized residents.”

The Snohomish County Human Rights Commission will present the award on International Human Rights Day at the 1st Annual Snohomish County Human Rights Awards December 10 at 1 p.m. in the Everett Labor Temple.

The Office of Neighborhoods was created in 2015 by Sheriff Trenary with the mission to provide direct outreach and engagement of the homeless, mentally ill, and chemically dependent, bridging the gap between law enforcement, corrections, and human services.

Between September 30, 2015 and October 31, 2016 the Office of Neighborhoods team secured housing for 57 individuals. They also secured detox for 86 people in Snohomish County, 72 of whom successfully completed the program and moved to inpatient drug treatment, an 84% success rate. The Office of Neighborhoods has helped 60 Snohomish County residents get identification cards, arranged for chemical dependency assessments for 67 people, and signed up 33 more for health insurance. 

“These statistics would not be possible if the Office of Neighborhoods team did not provide dedicated, conscientious, and consistent service that builds trust with the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Sheriff Trenary.

The Office of Neighborhoods was also honored this morning by the American Red Cross at the annual Snohomish County Heroes Breakfast with a Humanitarian Award for their work with the homeless.