Hard-hit by opioids, a city struggles with hardcore homeless

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — As homelessness has exploded along the West Coast, the working-class city of Everett has been trying an array of strategies to tackle homelessness, addiction, untreated mental illness and other problems on its streets.

For starters, the city put together a team that would track the 25 most costly and vulnerable cases, and hover over each one individually until he or she was in treatment or housing.

Officials in the city of 110,000 north of Seattle are also pushing for new permanent supportive housing and sending social workers out with police officers.

The number of unsheltered chronically homeless — those who have been homeless for longer than a year while struggling with a serious mental illness, substance use disorder or physical disability — more than doubled in the Everett region since 2015.