The city of Everett wants to criminalize homelessness with a no-sit no-lie ordinance within a three-mile industrial zone surrounding the Everett Gospel Mission, where a couple of hundred people receive meals and resources twice a day. The no-sit no-lie ordinance will fine homeless people $500 and cost them up to 90 days in jail if they sit or lie down in this zone. This approach isn't serving our community; it's making people criminals for doing day-to-day things like sitting, sleeping, and eating. It's inhumane, and it has been deemed unconstitutional. (see more below)
ARC is once again spearheading signing up the homeless to get their stimulus checks. We are back on the streets helping the homeless filer for their stimulus payments 1, 2 & 3. ARC is partnering with accountants who are volunteering their time to help the homeless file their 1040 tax returns so they can receive up to $3,200 in stimulus relief funds.
Behind the scenes of our food and clothes outreach program, we work hand-and-hand with local agencies to sign people up to get a housing voucher. Once they receive a voucher, we work with them to find an apartment.
We also provide phones to set up interviews, jobs, as well as transportation to DSHS to get ID vouchers, SNAP, and emergency assistance.
Criminalizing is illogical, expensive, and does not work. Criminalizing homelessness does not lead to housing! Quite the opposite; it will perpetuate homelessness while exacerbating mental illness and depression. It will dig a hole so deep that the homeless will never get out once they receive $500 fines and 90-day jail sentences; everyone knows they can't pay their fine, so there will be warrants out for their arrest. With a warrant, you will not get a job or housing.
Don't criminalize homelessness! Build trust. Allow the nonprofits to serve the homeless freely instead of being banned or applying for a yearly permit to serve only on a specific day and time. We are prepared and funded, and we are a purpose-driven nonprofit with a mission to get the homeless into housing.
Let's live in a community that shows compassion to the most vulnerable and marginalized. Let's work as a city to do something we are proud of, not ashamed of. This is a human rights issue, and the city council should choose compassion and housing for the most vulnerable, not handcuffs.Volunteer
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead