With city debating funding for encampment sweeps, business-backed homeless outreach team on Capitol Hill, First Hill and C-ID now complete

(Image: Margo Vansynghel)

“Hi there, outreach here. Anybody home?”

The outreach workers from the Evergreen Treatment Services REACH program don’t have a door to knock on, nor a doorstep to wait on, but that’s how they treat their approach to the tents scattered across a hillside near I-5 on First Hill.

Traversing the steep hill, the team goes from tent to tent, some of which shiver with the gusts of wind and rain. They hand out small packets of food (crackers and cheese) and bottles of water, ask people what they need if they can get them referred to a shelter for the night.

Standing high up on the slope, Sara Mar, the new homeless outreach coordinator for First Hill, gets a man a bus pass and a referral for shelter tonight. Yvonne Nelson, also with REACH, takes down the name of another woman who can get into an enhanced shelter tonight.  Continue reading

CHS Pics | Poetry on the First Hill Streetcar

Sunday, riders on the First Hill Streetcar found some new voices joining the automated messages about upcoming stops and reminders to hold the handrail.

A special Lunar New Year edition of King County Metro’s Poetry on Buses program brought “Asian and American Asian local aspiring poets” to the streetcar route connecting Capitol Hill to Pioneer Square via the International District.

The program has placed more than 350 poems on buses and streetcars, Metro says.

Thanks to interruptions by each announcement of an upcoming stop, arriving at the stop, next stop, and a stop requested, Sunday’s readings had their own peculiar rhythm that was just odd enough to be appropriate for the First Hill Streetcar which has suffered indignities from construction delays, to a sliding incident after losing braking power, to ongoing jokes about the route’s slow performance as it shares lanes with motor vehicle traffic.

Still, the route presents an alternative way to visit Chinatown and the ID — if you aren’t in too much of a hurry. Continue reading