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Community Health and Safety Outreach Team

CHSS Outreach Team 2017

The Community Health and Safety Section Outreach Team is composed of 2 officers and a social worker who conduct outreach to people who are struggling with homelessness, substance abuse and mental health issues. The goal of the Outreach Team is walk alongside clients while helping them to work towards self-sustainability and long-term solutions. While accessing housing is a major portion of the work, even more important is helping clients to get to a place where they will be successful in their housing because their mental and physical needs are met, they are receiving treatment and support, they are knowledgeable about how to access state, local and federal resources and they are actively engaged in the betterment of their lives in a way that makes sense for their unique situation.

You may see the CHSS Outreach Team in the community and on the streets engaging with people in need. Many clients are provided transportation or visited by the Outreach Team for a check in. These direct contacts are an important part of the outreach work and the support of the community is incredibly helpful.

FAQ
What should I do if I am concerned about a homeless person in the community?

We encourage you to reach out to the CHSS Outreach Team so we can contact the person. You can email us at
chssoutreach@lynnwoodwa.gov. If you feel it is an immediate need, call 911 so an officer can respond right away.

Should I give something to people who are panhandling?
We cannot tell you what to do, but we can share our recommendation. Many homeless individuals on the street have said that the well-intentioned donations of money, food and clothing are often the reason why they do not access shelters or other programs that can help them end their homelessness. These donations have begun making their homelessness just comfortable enough to discourage them from seeking support to make long term changes.

Why haven’t you done something about the person I see on the same corner every day?
Because our community is fairly small, we have made contact with the majority of homeless individuals in our area. It is likely we have engaged with this specific person often and are either actively working on a plan with them or the person has chosen to not participate with us at this time. The process of getting someone into appropriate housing or services can often be a long process as there are limits to the resources available, waiting lists and, a person needs to be ready and willing to access services. Our mission is to not just house people but to get them to a place of long term success so that their new situations can be long term.

If I donate to the CHSS Outreach Team Flex Funds account, where does my donation go?
Every dollar you donate to the Community Health and Safety Outreach Team Flex Funds goes directly to helping clients move towards long term sustainability. These funds may be used for bus transportation, motel stays, car repairs, security deposits, plane tickets to treatment agencies, telephones, rental assistance, food, clothing and other resources that will be of assistance to our clients.

Make a Donation
Since the goal of the Outreach Team is to direct people towards more permanent services, financial assistance is needed for emergency hotel stays, transportation vouchers, security deposits, rental assistance, telephones, car repairs, access to treatment and other miscellaneous needs. Donations can be by writing a check to the City of Lynnwood and dropping it off at the Police Department noting that it is for the CHSS Flex funds account.