Mental illness dating service

The city blames Purdue Pharma for an addiction crisis that has overwhelmed city resources and deepened its homelessness problem.Kaman joined the city’s mayor, police chief, city council members and others who drove to Seattle in September for the city’s successful argument that a federal judge allow its lawsuit against the drug manufacturer to proceed.

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Alex Rehn (right), a homeless heroin and meth addict, talks with a volunteer with Mercy Watch, an outreach group that serves the needs of the homeless population in Everett, as they kneel on a sidewalk under the Smith Avenue Bridge.

Rehn, who has since entered a treatment program, said his addiction had destroyed everything he once had, including a job and time with his young son.

Kaman is a former prosecutor who became the city’s public health and safety director in 2016. That was the peak, but heroin deaths remain high and deaths from synthetic opioids such as fentanyl are climbing.

Last month, county officials partially activated its emergency coordination center, typically used for natural disasters, to respond to the opioid crisis.

“It’s a deep dark ugly hole that tricks your mind into believing it’s not what it really is,” Rehn said. Warren) It’s among an array of strategies the city has tried.

There is still much work to do: Everett, a city of 110,000 north of Seattle hard-hit by the opioid epidemic, and surrounding Snohomish County saw a 65 percent jump in people living outside between 20 — one of the largest increases on the West Coast in that period, according to a one-night count earlier this year.

The number of unsheltered chronically homeless — those who have been homeless for longer than a year while struggling with a serious mental illness, substance use disorder or physical disability — has grown steadily in the Everett region, more than doubling since 2015.

That’s even as the city and county added more supportive housing.

“It was when everything else seems to have failed,” said Kaman, who became the city’s public health and safety director 17 months ago.

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