At Safe Streets, we believe that communities have the power to reach their full potential by uniting for the common good. That’s why we connect neighbors with each other through neighborhood groups, facilitate after-school programs across Pierce County, and provide the resources people need to get organized and address problems impacting their environment.
We are confident that neighbors gathering together and youth collaborating with their peers motivates people to take charge and make change in their community. It’s through working together that we can ensure the wellbeing of the place where you live, work, and play is fulfilled.
In 1989, various communities in the city of Tacoma and surrounding areas of Pierce County faced several adversities. Downtown streets had become open-air drug markets, employees in business districts feared walking to their cars, the presence of drug houses increased, drive-by shootings ran rampant, and gang members claimed territory in Tacoma’s Hilltop and Eastside, Parkland, Spanaway, Tillicum, Lake City, and even Puyallup. There was little hope that the violence would cease until community leaders gathered together and issued a call to action. This launched Safe Streets as a grassroots campaign.
Our organization worked hard to reduce gang violence by running a public awareness campaign, organizing graffiti clean-ups, distributing over 2,000 posters to businesses declaring their commitment to fostering a drug-free community, and holding 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 their neighborhoods and schools are thriving.