News Jun 23, 2022 at 2:15 pm

If JustCARE Falls, We Deliver Care Falls Too

Dominique Davis and his Community Safety Ambassadors have provided public safety for encampment outreach without guns or badges for the last two years. Courtesy of We Deliver Care



Wow! Another hard hitting, in depth report ... this time "The Sandwich Affair".

Do we have anything in the way of a "cost benefit" analysis for "We Whatever" .... any history, track record... anything which supports keeping it aside from "The Sandwich Affair"?

I'd rather "fund the police" then i have somebody who can handle this or a conflict which turns out to be bad.

Just a follow up... did "We Whatever" do anything besides give the dude a sandwich, a gift card and a pat on the head?

Why didn't they refer the "patient" to a mental health care worker?

Its all find and dandy when sandwich boy is calm, but what does one do when sandwich boy freaks out? What will We Whatever do.... uh, call the police?

Its just throwing taxpayer money at untested, unproven homespun feel good things... Its not a solution.



I realize you're abysmally deficient in even the most basic online research skills, and require literally every piece of information to be spoon-fed to you like so much Gerber Baby Food (tm), but if you bothered to used teh Google for about six seconds you would have been able to find this, which would no doubt answer all of your questions.

(Not that you want actual answers of course, you probably just had some extra-rich pablum today and were in desperate need of a good, old-fashioned rhetorical colon cleanse...)


@3 try again! There’s no bed space for mentally ill patients, silly! There’s a waiting list about 400 long in WA state. And the cost benefit analysis says it’s cheaper to give the guy a sandwich than staff up a hospital, feed and house this person, and give him the health care he deserves.


@2 The snarky "you could have just Googled it" approach would be more effective if your link wasn't broken.

@1 Regarding a cost-benefit analysis, as is usually the case for homelessness service providers in this region, it's challenging to find concrete information on JustCARES. Most of the reporting I've been able to find indicates JustCARES is trying to find continued funding for 150 clients/residents (the terminology is sort of inconsistent) residing in hotels operated as shelters.* Funding this in the future requires $10 million per year. So, I guess JustCARES is providing temporary shelter and de-escalation services at the cost of a bit under $67,000 per person annually.



Fund the police and mental hospitals not this nonsense


@6&7, put your money where your mouth is! I’m all for appropriate services but be ready to pay for them. Mental health hospital beds cost ~$300k/yr. Prison is $100k, though, no judge worth his salt would put a mentally ill man in jail for stealing a sandwich (both figures are for CA systems in the last 5 yrs so adjust accordingly). Joe Taxpayer is not thrilled about paying for your old school approaches to mental illness. Not sure what good hiring a cop is for the mentally ill sandwich thief; someone who will invest in a relationship with him is perhaps a bandaid for real systems change, but no one is willing to invest in the alternative.


I don’t have any issue with paying higher taxes for mental hospital and prisons. It may be old school, but the new school approach of letting crazy people, drug addicts and criminals camp in parks and destroy the city obviously isn’t working. It is also not cheap in terms of the billions we have flushed down the drain and societal cost.


I'm glad to hear about this alternative. How should we register our support for continued funding?


@2 ---Golly... cost -benefit analysis is kind of useful isn't it a brain....

So do you consider $67,000/person.... very effective?

Do we have any studies regarding the effectiveness of this group at resolving the problems?
(No just a budget and they stick them in hotel rooms..)

So Actually we don't.......just that they are sticking them in hotels.... golly. Any fool could do that.

Would you like a hotel room or live in a tent and use a rat for a pillow? Tough question to answer. Even the mentally ill could probably figure that one out.

Then where is the study and info on how they purportedly treat all these folks for mental illness... uh.. golly umm?

Supposedly under this article suggests treatment consists of a calming little chat, a pat on the head, give them the stolen sandwich, then a gift card and send them on their way... all for a mere $67,000/year.


@1 -- The author wrote that "researchers with the University of Washington conducted a study of JustCARE that included findings about the work We Deliver Care does with the organization" and then summarized some of their findings. Did you read the report? Did you even read the summary? What did you think of the policy recommendations? Did you find flaws with some of their analysis, and if so, what were they? Is there some other report out that there that contradicts these findings, and if so, where is it?

Or are you just some lazy dipshit with no experience in the field who feels qualified to criticize a report without even bothering to read it?


@5 "it's challenging to find concrete information on JustCARES"

Except, of course, for the hundred page report written by UW researchers that the author literally linked to! Here is a link again:

@15 "Do we have any studies regarding the effectiveness of this group at resolving the problems?"

Yes! The fucking report the author linked to. Holy shit, you assholes are like anti-vaxxers. "Show me the evidence" you scream. Then we do. We list study after study, showing the efficacy of vaccines. But you don't read them. You ignore the evidence, and claim it doesn't exist. Real reporters like Will Casey quote from the studies, and yet you ignore it. People like me quote from it as well, playing whack-a-mole with your ignorant asses. So hear I go, quoting from a report you are too lazy to read:

Policy Recommendations:

» Fully fund JustCARE to enable the expansion of its many benefits.

Initiatives such as JustCARE may well save the city and county money. Each of King County’s “familiar faces” – people who contend with homelessness, unsupported mental health disabilities, substance use disorders, and on-going criminal legal system involvement – cost the county an estimated $28,000 per year in 2016. In 2021 dollars, this represents a cost of over $31,000 per year. This estimate does not include city or state costs of any kind, or reflect the benefits associated with reduced crime and improved quality of life. 87

The 87 is a footnote. You probably aren't familiar with footnotes. In the main body of the report they are tiny little numbers, which reference different studies.


Whatever the merits of this program, it has already accomplished something unprecedented: the Stranger has admitted mental disorders figure into Seattle's homelessness crisis. Seven solid years of the Stranger's complete denial have finally been overcome. Until this moment, every last homeless person in Seattle was a "victim of capitalism" who committed "crimes of poverty" to survive. Now, the Stranger has finally reached a state where it can contribute something of value to Seattle's civic dialog on homelessness. Let's hope the Stranger actually does.

Meanwhile, we commenters will continue posing actual questions about homelessness policy.

"Once they’d moved the conversation away from the source of conflict,"

The "source of conflict" wasn't the sandwich (duh), it was the man's mental disorder. As noted by other commenters, above, resolving this one incident did nothing to protect this man, or other persons, from any violence he might commit during any future manifestations of his mental disorder. This man needs treatment in a secured medical facility, not housed unsupervised in a place where he can continue randomly hurting himself or others; arresting him for theft might have been the start of his journey to real treatment in a safe space. Instead, the Stranger amplified self-congratulation for a one-time lucky intervention, which provides no long-term resolution to the man's serious mental problems. That this anecdote was triumphantly recounted as a great success story shows just how much of a disastrous failure Seattle's homeless policy has been.

(Also, part of the Stranger's "crimes of poverty" fixation continues to include the false notion that homeless persons in Seattle routinely get jail time for stealing food. The Stranger carefully combed through a huge data set to find a few persons who had been arrested for stealing food, but even in those few cases, none of the persons arrested were tried or imprisoned for stealing food:

@11: "Is that legal to hire people in that manner?"

Good catch, but you left out the best part: "Before any of his recruits make it into the field, Davis works his network to find out if they have any history of troubling interactions in the community – regardless of whether those incidents would show up on a traditional criminal history background check."

So, he's relying on rumor, gossip, and unverifiable sources to make hiring decisions -- at taxpayer expense. These hiring practices need to be addressed before the city continues funding this program.


@16, @17

The study you refer to doesn't have any data as to cost -benefit effectiveness. For fuck sakes.

The study concludes that if you have homeless and you put them in a hotel and help them its better than living in a tent. Golly... we needed a study for that.

You actually have to read the "co called study"...which says what Just Whatever tries to do...not really if it accomplishes anything constructive, nor at what cost.

Notice how many times the reports says "seeks to provide" "seeks to reduce"... not that it does.

It assumes the decrease in 911 calls is due to Just Whatever.... now now does one derive that conclusion.... from the change in 911 calls...maybe we have more policing and thus fewer 911 calls.

We can play this game all day long.

Its lame. It has a few conclusions "on what it seeks to do".... this isn't a study supported by fact, but by opinions.

If you don't believe me... look at their own recommendation.... they recommend a study to see if this thing works.... because they have no data to support their conclusions. DOH!


@16, @17, @19: That study does have some findings the Stranger would be well-advised to consider. Here is the first bullet point in the study's "Lessons Learned" section:

"High level criminal activity involving sexual exploitation, sexual assault, and drug dealing is embedded in many encampment sites. This makes it difficult for some vulnerable people to engage with service providers and/or leave the encampment. Outreach responders need to anticipate this reality and have a plan for dealing with it."

This is why police presence is a really good idea when sweeping encampments, and why every encampment sweep should include police checks for outstanding warrants for each of the camp's inhabitants.


@17 Expanding on the other well-reasoned criticism of your post, there referenced study merely "provides initial insights regarding the evolution and impact of JustCARE in its first six months of operations." p. 9. The study finds much more analysis is needed across a variety of metrics before the impact of the program can be understood.

I was unable to find any analysis of the costs of the program in the report. Can you please share where in the report you found that information?

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