A group of neighbors gathered last night to talk about what they could do to find solutions to recurring problems.
The area at issue is between 24th and 26th SW, and SW Hudson to SW Graham – part of the Cottage Grove area. Organizer Patrick Baer circulated an invitation saying:
The 5400 block of Delridge Way and surrounding community is having ongoing public safe issues including rampant drug activity, drinking in public, panhandling, and littering (needles). Despite the City of Seattle being fully aware of these issues, they are void of solutions or willingness to address them.
He made it clear at the start of the meeting at Delridge Library – which is in that area – that it wasn’t time to be spent listing complaints, but to brainstorm and plan action.
A city representative was there – Yun Pitre, this area’s community-engagement coordinator from the Department of Neighborhoods. She offered information on who to contact about several issues – including cleaning up the alley behind the library.
She also suggested researching whether the area could become an “alcohol-impact zone,” after some attendees mentioned problems with public inebriation that seemed to be linked to the convenience stores in the area.
Some of the public drinking was linked by attendees to residents at DESC’s Cottage Grove Commons supportive-housing complex, which has been open at 5444 Delridge Way SW since December 2013. They said a few people from the building seem to be frequent neighborhood troublemakers. Two DESC staffers were there – the building’s manager was unable to be present – and urged the neighbors to tell them about problems and to be specific about what and who they are seeing. Baer mentioned the “Good Neighbor” agreements that DESC had said its residents must sign, and asked about the status of those. The DESC representatives reiterated that it’s a matter of what gets reported – if no one calls about a problem, they won’t know.
Also discussed in terms of reporting problems: The city’s Find It, Fix It app, 206-684-CITY hotline, and e-mail use to get out the word when something’s happening. Neighbors being more visible and active in the neighborhood – something as simple as walking around more often – could make a difference, too.