The Hand Up Project

Homeless Camp Cleanup in Everett – Sept. 25th-27th

Volunteers needed in Everett. Homeless camp cleanup continues Friday, September 25th, each day from 9:30am-5:00pm thru Sunday. 10221 3rd Ave SE, Everett, WA

A team of volunteers is working with the Homes & Hope Community Land Trust on a major cleanup of homeless encampment that has been heavily impacted with trash and debris in Everett.

The Hand Up Project is seeking volunteers to help with the hands-on cleanup of 11-acres of land along 3rd Avenue SE near Everett Mall Way, an area that has been used by the homeless for an encampment in recent years.

The work will begin at 9:30 am each day starting on September 25th and continue through the weekend, till the hazards have been removed and the area has been deemed safe again.

“It’s the largest cleanup project we’ve tackled so far,” said Organizer Robert Smiley. “We are looking for people who are willing to put on masks and gloves, and spend time working with us cleaning up the property.”

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The Hand Up Project cleans up homeless camps and offers a path to detox, treatment and sober living housing for those who want it. Many of their volunteers have survived homelessness themselves and are on the road to recovery. This provides a great opportunity of service work towards clean and sober living.

Smiley explained, “We talk to the families and individuals, ask them if they want help. If they do, we can offer a variety of services to help them appropriately. We can help them get ID’s, get them signed up with DSHS, possibly find a place or managed housing facility, or get into a detoxification or treatment program.”

“Once local officials have decided on a plan for a given location or area, we go in two weeks ahead of time and do outreach to the inhabitants of the encampments. Sometimes, to make sure people get the message that we are definitely coming in, law enforcement comes in with us. We have cleaning equipment, safety gear, and power equipment,” Smiley said.

“There is a lot of trash, mattresses, some furniture and garbage that has built up over a period of several years. We will be raking it all up, placing it in dumpsters, to be hauled away for proper disposal. We expect to be able to retrieve a large number of shopping carts for local businesses.”

“We also expect to collect more than double the 7,624 needles that were safely recovered and destroyed from behind the Home Depot in Everett three years ago. “

The Hand Up Project works closely with local city authorities and law enforcement. Experience at homeless camp cleanups from around the nations show that addressing the human needs for the current occupants and neighbors is the only way to really solve the homeless problems.

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Volunteer Doug Larimer said, “To prevent the homeless from going from one homeless camp to another requires us to take a gentle approach and learn what each person really needs in order to turn their life around. This week alone, talking to the people living in the camp, we were able to get 1 person into mental illness services, 2 people into to detox and a family of 3 who were not even addicts into housing and help the man lined up with a job.”

“We’ve also been known to provide supplies to the homeless in a way of back-packs filled with first-aid, chewy food bars, pop-top canned food, socks, underwear and other necessities – like pizza. We do all this to help them survive one more day and find the courage to enter a lifestyle of clean and sober living.”

The Hand Up Project operates with donations from a dedicated group of individual donors who give willingly despite the economic struggles of these times. Many of them have witnessed and experienced the work first hand or have had friends or family members rescued into a path of detox, treatment and clean and sober living.

The Hand Up Project has found many of the homeless don’t suffer from addiction or mental illness. They are just down and out and need help to get back on their feet again.

We will be starting at 9:30 am Friday, Sept. 25th-29th at 10221 3rd Ave SE, Everett, WA

If you would like to donate or volunteer towards this massive clean-up please visit: https://thehandupproject.org/donations or send an email to tsmiley@thehandupproject.org or Doug Larimer at doug@thehandupproject.org.

Additional information about the Homes & Hope Community Land Trust please visit: https://homesandhopeclt.org