“It was when everything else seems to have failed,” said Kaman, who became the city’s public health and safety director 17 months ago.
“They’ll bring someone to jail several hundred times, bring someone to the emergency department dozens of times the (people) resistant to treatment and other alternatives. It was a call to say, ‘Isn’t there anything else that we could do?’”
In two years, Everett’s specialized team has found some form of housing for 14 chronically homeless people on its by-name list. The city’s newly formed community outreach enforcement team has gotten more than two dozen people into long-term treatment, primarily using beds paid through a partnership with a nonprofit that helps officers deal with the opioid crisis. The city also set up a flex fund that accepts private donations to help pay for motel rooms, bus tickets and other costs.