People Can Make Their Communities Better
At Safe Streets, we support neighbors and youth who want to make their communities safer and stronger.
Because we believe that every neighborhood and school should be a safe, healthy, thriving community, we’re committed to creating and supporting grassroots, community-led groups that are initiating change.
These neighborhood and school-based groups are spaces where people who feel powerless to combat issues such as blight or bullying can become advocates and change-makers for clean neighborhoods, safe schoolyards, and healthy communities.
Through our neighborhood organizing work, we’ve help neighbors create and maintain neighborhood groups across Pierce County. Safe Streets provides training, tools, and facilitation help so neighbors can identify changes they’d like to see and implement solutions in their neighborhoods.
Through our work with youth, we create and help maintain Youth Leading Change chapters throughout
the county. Through these groups, students take action to make their schools more welcoming and safe.
Safe Streets unites and inspires neighbors, youth, and businesses to build safe, healthy, thriving communities.
Imagine every one of us lives in a safe, thriving neighborhood.
Our Strategic Plan
We are proud to present our 2019-2023 Strategic Plan.
Looking for financial information? Our EIN number is 91-1704402 and Our 990’s can be found here.
Our Core Values
Power of Community
We believe in the power of community to work for the common good. Through our organizational model we work to be inclusive of the varied interests of community members in order to maximize solutions that benefit the whole versus individual needs, agendas, and interests. Community members who use their power to convene other members are what creates an alternative future. “If you want to go fast, go alone…if you want to go far, go together.”
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
We strive to amplify the voices of our board, staff, community, and stakeholders create a safe and inclusive environment where everyone can contribute one’s authentic self. Acknowledging that inequalities of power, privilege, and prejudice shape our current systems, it is our collective responsibility to address exclusionary and unjust practices through our work and in our workplace.
Honesty & Integrity
Acting with integrity is the foundation of everything we do and the basis of public trust. We hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards. We earn credibility by doing the right thing, being trustworthy, honest, transparent, and professional.
We hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards of professionalism, ethics, and competence. We take responsibility for our performance and are willing to admit and learn from our mistakes.
Partnership & Collaboration
Our success depends on our ability to build solid partnerships that are based on trust, a free flow of information, and good listening. We understand the strength and power of professional relationships, cooperation, and collaboration to work for the common good.
Innovation & Continuous Learning
We encourage new ideas to improve our organization’s effectiveness. We value input that challenges our current ways of thinking and doing business in order to better deliver our programs and services. We are committed to learning from others so we can continuously improve.
We work hard to cultivate a culture that continually uses analytics to make fact-based decisions, track our effectiveness, and results. Meaningful data allows us and the communities we serve to better problem solve and make meaningful improvements and changes to the way we deliver programs and services.
Can do Attitude & Spirit
We are willing to tackle any task, job or problem consistent with our mission to get it done no matter how great the difficulty. We persevere with enthusiasm and optimism refusing to accept defeat.
We are responsive to the needs of those we serve and to our partners.
Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Safe Streets promotes culturally competent, community-centered services for neighborhoods resulting in increased representation and collaboration among the diverse communities of Pierce County. Representation and collaboration throughout the agency include: schools; organized neighborhood block groups; businesses; faith institutions; racial and ethnic groups; neighborhood and community councils; law enforcement; and community-based agencies. It is the intent of Safe Streets to include all ethnic, racial and socio-economic groups at all levels of the organization, including staff and board membership. The reality is that many racial, ethnic, and cultural and minority communities remain underserved by mainstream institutions. The aim of Safe Streets is to strengthen advocacy activities in the diverse ethnic, racial and cultural communities and groups of Pierce County.
Community leaders issued a call to action in 1989. This launched Safe Streets as a grassroots campaign.
Downtown streets had become open-air drug markets, employees feared walking to their cars, neighborhoods had become havens for drug houses and gang members claimed territory in Tacoma’s Hilltop and Eastside, Parkland, Spanaway, Tillicum, Lake City, and even Puyallup. Drive-by shootings were rampant, reaching more than 350 in 1990. The drive-by shootings were not only inter-gang warfare, but also resulted in the deaths of innocent victims caught in the line of fire. We were literally living in a war zone in parts of our community. Gang graffiti marked territory and sent messages to opposing gangs.
Community leaders issued a call to action in 1989. This launched Safe Streets as a grassroots campaign. From January through June, more than 8,000 community members participated in community forums and summits that concluded with an overwhelming realization: it appeared that the gangs were organized and we, as a community, were not!
We worked to eliminate the glory gang members were receiving through media outlets; launched a major public awareness campaign, mobilized graffiti clean-ups, distributed over 2,000 posters to businesses declaring their dedication to Safe Streets and intolerance for drug dealing, illegal gang activity, and violence; and held an Interfaith Community Summit to partner with more than 200 pastors and ministers.
In the ensuing 30 years, Safe Streets reclaimed neighborhoods, business districts and schools. We have organized and trained a network of 125 Neighborhood Groups in high-risk neighborhoods, involving over 13,500 community leaders and 190,000 residents who work daily to ensure that their neighborhoods and schools are safe. Safe Streets’ Community Mobilizers help these Neighborhood Groups define and address their own needs by utilizing organized block watches, youth leadership teams, graffiti removal teams, safe routes to school, and widespread substance abuse and violence prevention education initiatives.
As the organization grew, new opportunities to help were identified. Safe Streets also organizes: Non-English Speaking Academy, Communities that Care Coalition, Child ID, Multi-Family Housing programs, Youth Leading Change, and ENGAGE.
Our work isn’t done. We are committed to continuing our work, developing leaders for long-term change until every Pierce County community is safe.