Community Post

GOTS To Help

We’ve had a lot of discussions over the last several weeks about 23rd & Union and how we need a stronger police presence and some sort of social service outreach to the groups that hang out there. The Get Off The Streets (GOTS) program has been mentioned several times, and today Robert Jamieson has a good column in the PI about the program:

Christal F., who asked that her last name not be used, is one of the success stories. Before she was assisted by GOTS, she was hooking, addicted to drugs and “living out of bags.”

Now, the 42-year-old who’d been using drugs since she was 13 has been sober for 14 months. She attends drug court, lives in sober housing in South Seattle, has a job working with homeless people and is reconciling with her youngest son. She attends parenting classes and drug-support meetings.

“I feel soooooo good,” Christal told me after I bumped into her on the corner.

I recommend reading the whole article:

So maybe when we’re calling our elected officials and asking for more police, we should also ask to double the funding to the Seattle Neighborhood Group so they can expand from one day a week to two.

Update: I just saw that Andrew beat me to the punch on this, and has a helpful link to an earlier article about the program.

0 thoughts on “GOTS To Help

  1. The GOTS program was the brainchild of East Precinct Operations Lieutenant John Hayes, who (as I understand) came to Police work from a social services background. The synergy between social services and law enforcement is the key here: some of those on the street are too “scary” to easily be approached by some outreach services.

  2. So from what I’ve read, GOTS is a program of the Seattle Neighborhood Group, which is a 501c3 non-profit. How do we get more funding for GOTS? Do we need to pester the city council? What about private or corporate donations? I checked out the website and I don’t see anything about donations on there. With the neighborhood gentrifying, I’m betting we’re in a much better place to raise donations. And a bunch of local companies match charitable donations to boot. I personally think GOTS is money much better spent than on enforcement efforts.

  3. I think the vast majority of GOTS funding comes directly from the city. Councilmembers are definitely influenced by your calls and emails, so be sure to tell them if you like the program and want to see it expanded:

    I contacted Kay Godefroy, the Executive Director of the Seattle Neighborhood Group, and she said that private donations are very welcome and will help the GOTS program directly:

    We’re working on getting on-line donations up and running on
    our website. In the meantime, checks are always welcome! Payable to SNG-GOTS
    and we will make sure every penny is spent on the GOTS project. The best
    arguments for city council are in the Jamieson article- e.g. 93 clients
    helped in 2007 … We have to do more than arrest those who are addicted to
    drugs and/or alcohol. Many are also in need of mental health treatment and
    virtually all are homeless.

    Checks can be mailed to:
    1810 East Yesler Way
    Seattle, WA 98122-5748

    This could be a great way for individual neighbors to have an impact on the social-service side of the crime issue.