Exit133 is about Tacoma

25 Years of Safe Streets

Tacoma, WA (Aug 20, 2014) — The Safe Streets Campaign is celebrating 25 years of neighborhood mobilization; helping adults and youth develop skills and connections they need to address issues that matter to them. Safe Streets started in 1989 as a call to action regarding the extreme street violence and gang activity in Tacoma. The organization has become a resource to help community members activate block groups and youth create prevention initiatives for positive change in Pierce County. 

Executive Director Priscilla Lisicich says, “The commitment and drive of grassroots leaders changed the face of public safety in Pierce County. This work is not done. Our network of skilled neighbors and youth build resilience in the face of adversity and take action for safe, civil, and clean environs.” 

Safe Streets has organized and trained a network of 125 community groups in high-risk neighborhoods; over 13,500 neighborhood leaders and 190,000 residents. Volunteers organize block watches, graffiti removal teams, safe routes to schools, and widespread substance abuse and violence prevention education initiatives. The Youth Leading Change program has eleven high and middle school chapters with more than 8,000 youth in violence and substance abuse prevention projects. Initiatives started by group members of Safe Streets include the Lincoln Alcohol Impact Area, Methamphetamine Lab reduction, and “twice the time for the crime” legislation. 

Safe Streets tracks two things in neighborhoods each year: connectivity level (neighbors’ partnership and communication) and crime level. From 2008 to 2013 there was a 20% reduction in crime for all 125 Safe Streets organized block groups and an average community connectivity rate of 69%. Safe Streets is committed to continuing this work, developing leaders for long-term change. Until every Pierce County neighborhood is safe. 

Information on how you can get involved is available on Safe Streets’ website at safest.org. 

Safe Streets Campaign is the first private, non-profit organization that unites neighbors against crime—a model for other programs nationwide. Serving Tacoma and Pierce County since 1989, Safe Streets equal a safe community. Both private and public funds support Safe Streets’ community efforts. Learn more at www.safest.org



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