On Jan. 2, a valued member of our community at Canaday House was tragically and unexpectedly killed, and a person who was also a member of our community has been charged with her murder. We remain shocked and horrified by this senseless act of violence, and we extend our deepest sympathies to the victim’s family and friends.
DESC is committed to serving people in crisis. Among other things, we operate the only voluntary crisis care facility for all of King County’s 2.3 million people. Despite working with people every day who are experiencing their worst moments of despair, confusion, and pain, an incident like this is unprecedented in our 43-year history.
Even as we remain focused on supporting our residents and team members, including by offering counseling and bereavement support for them, we are working together to understand how this happened. After any tragic event, we assess our practices, and we will continue to do so.
Alongside our partners and equipped with the latest research, DESC teams are constantly reviewing and discussing the best ways to help people meet their challenges, whether ongoing substance use disorders, mental illnesses, behavioral issues, or crises.
This work is challenging and relies on the essential support of timely and adequate crisis response systems, appropriate community services, and adequate governmental resources. This is the work we choose to do – because it needs to be done. It fills a yawning void in available help for those who need it most. As we grieve for our community member, we will continue to learn and endeavor to find solutions to homelessness and the various forms of suffering that we encounter every day.