I didn't know about Seattle's 211 shelter hotline until now! If you're in Seattle and see a homeless person in need of shelter call 211 and they'll try to get them somewhere safe and warm.

Lots have reminded me that you should ask the homeless person first since they might not want to have it decided for them etc

wow y'all hate the police more than you want to possibly help homeless people, what the hell

as far as I can tell this program does not involve the police at all, but even if it did, the laws in Washington state prevent police from detaining homeless people for simply being homeless. the law only allows them to *suggest* people to *voluntarily* enter a shelter at their own free will.

and I am not an expert on this program anyway, I just want to spread awareness of something possibly helpful

also simply sleeping in a public right-of-way is not considered a crime here and the police will do nothing about someone doing that unless they're blocking an entryway or something (and all they'll do in that case is wake them up, ask them if they're okay, and ask them to move along).

and in those cases we are instructed to call 211 or whatever because of concerns that someone might react violently to being woken up. it takes training to handle a potential crisis situation etc. etc.

if the person is awake and doesn't seem like they're gonna be difficult or unsafe to talk to, by all means, get their consent before calling 211 to get them help from trained folks who know what they're doing

but not everyone who needs 211 services is in a situation where you're going to be safe asking them for consent to call them, and the 211 services are trained to assist people within the legal limits.

@fluffy Wow, just looke up to see if Los Angeles had the same and I wouldn’t of even thought of it as resource until you mentioned it. PSAs should be more prominent.

@fluffy my city has something like that, but with the bonus that the city doesn't actually have enough shelter beds, and so there's not actually anything they can do.

The signs make people feel well and fuzzy though, so that's nice.

They won't get the police involved?

Generally, I wouldn't call anyone without their consent...

Now does, probably a glitch.

Sorry if people keep asking you this. I can't find any info on the program at the website though, so also nothing about police involvement.

It's a problem over here as people can get into trouble when police gets involved and the support services usually do.

Idcards are expensive, but you can be fined/arrested here if you can't identify...

@webmind I don't know where "over here" is for you but at least in Seattle there are plenty of social services that don't rely on the police, and while SPD still has the problems of most police departments they have a much better track record than most places when it comes to helping out people in need.

But I really don't know a lot about this, I literally learned about it like 15 minutes before I made my original post.


Overhere is Amsterdam/Netherlands. And I'm glad to hear it's dealt better with than here.

Thanks for your replies.

@fluffy Portland 211 definitely does not involve the cops, it goes to city agencies (which may have a reporting duty to the police) but yeah it is certainly not dialing 911 on the homeless

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