A novel concept: Washington state city trying to help homeless by enforcing the law

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Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring

As I have mentioned here before: Many west coast, progressive-run cities have a homeless crisis that is exasperated by the fact that the bureaucrats do not enforce laws related to loitering, trespassing, public defecation, drug use and prostitution. This includes Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, etc. See the following:

Marysville, just north of Seattle in Snohomish County, is pro-actively doing something to address their homeless. Their method? Accept help or go to jail.

The mayor of Marysville, Jon Nehring, was appointed in 2010 and then was elected to a full term in November 2011, and re-elected in November 2015 after running unopposed.

Mayor Nehring appeared on the Jason Rantz show and spoke about their approach to dealing with the homeless. He spoke about the results of the Embedded Social Worker program, calling it a “partnership approach that balances compassion with enforcement to make real differences.”

He tweeted the following statistic (which occurred in just six months) on December 5:

“Marysville’s law enforcement-embedded social worker program is seeing great early success!

  • Substance abuse assessments completed: 111
  • Treatment provided: 43
  • Detox completed: 40
  • Graduates of long-term treatment: 19
  • Housing secured: 37”

According to the January 2018 Point-in-Time January Count Summary for Snohomish County (where Marysville is located) there are 858 homeless people in Snohomish County.

Marysville, using the law and their social outreach program, has already assisted over 25% of those 858 people. That number exceeded both the mayor and the police chief’s expectations. Imagine that!

Also, the crime rate is down over 20% in Marysville.

Excerpts from the mayor’s interview via MyNorthwest.com:

“Help means an initial assessment, and then a drug detox, or a substance abuse detox,” Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring told KTTH’s Jason Rantz. “After that, a 30 to 60 day long term rehabilitation program. And then if they graduate from that, they move into transitional housing and job training, hopefully ultimately get a job, and be at least somewhat — if not fully — self-sufficient.

That approach stems from a zero-tolerance policy from Marysville police, enforced across the city.

“In Marysville, we don’t tolerate sleeping under bridges [or] illegal camping, [and] we discourage our citizens from giving to panhandlers — we encourage them to give to local charities instead,” Mayor Nehring said.

That way, rather than simply clearing homeless encampments only to see them pop up somewhere else, a concerted effort is being expended to get to the root of the issue. Take away the option to continue trespassing and committing crimes, argued Mayor Nehring, and you leave people with a simple choice.

“It’s a two-pronged approach,” he described. “You can take that option, which we would much prefer. If not, if you’re committing crimes, we’re going to take you to jail.

This method is really so simple that one has to wonder why other progressive-run cities can’t implement the same strategy: enforce the law with a zero-tolerance policy and apply taxpayer dollars to treatment programs.

Yet we know that method would not allow for bureaucrats to continually demand more taxpayer dollars to “solve” their homeless crisis.

Listen to the whole interview here.

DCG

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3 responses to “A novel concept: Washington state city trying to help homeless by enforcing the law

  1. Wow, DCG! Thank you for conveying this hope filled story!

     
  2. What a concept! The hookers must have complained. The last time I was over there on business it looked like there was a hooker for every ten square feet of available road surface, except at the casino of course.

     

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