Solid Ground would like to clarify some inaccurate information we’ve put out in recent media interviews about how we provide services at Brettler Family Place, home of Charleena Lyles. Please note that in respect of residents’ privacy, we will not release information about anyone’s actual engagement with services.
Brettler Family Place is permanent housing for families who have been challenged by numerous barriers and forms of oppression. We are there to support them to accomplish their goals and enhance the quality of their lives. Solid Ground has a team of case managers, children’s advocates, mental health professionals and administrative staff on site. In addition, we work with independent community experts in the fields of mental health, health care, education and employment, etc. to provide services to residents.
We actively reach out to residents to inform them and connect them to available services. Residents make their own decisions about whether or not to participate in those services. Although our residents live in Solid Ground’s housing, we cannot mandate that they engage in services; it is their choice.
In the flurry of media requests we received in the days since Lyles’ death, I have mistakenly said that Solid Ground did not have mental health professionals on staff. We do. As part of our commitment to better serve the most vulnerable families and individuals in the community, we realized the need for onsite mental health support and added two clinical staff. We will continue to assess, develop and refine our mental health services based on residents’ needs.
Some of what I said acknowledging the importance of a resident’s personal decision to engage in services gave the impression that residents must seek us out and ask for services. That is not always the case. Our team works hard to connect with residents, help them understand the resources and supports available to them, and help them navigate the systems to access services.
If that process was perfect, Charleena Lyles would likely be here today. As we move beyond the immediate trauma and caring for our community at Sand Point, Solid Ground will undergo a thorough assessment about our services here and work to identify ways we and the care systems we engage with can provide the protection and support everyone deserves.
~Mike Buchman, Communications Director
Number ONE: All responders should be aware of the recovering from trauma conditions that most of your residents at this address are experiencing. That knowledge should trigger another layer of de-escalation into any interaction with ANY authorities. I cannot believe that these officers were prepared for this interaction, but even that downfall does not excuse their thinking that they could take two lives with in 2 minutes of arriving at the scene of a possible burglary. The victim could easily have been so scared by the attempted burglary that she had armed herself to protect her children, and was simply showing the officers that she had done so. Jumping to conclusions without facts and shooting first are not what I pay my taxes to the City of Seattle for. That this was a response to the person calling for help is deeply troubling. Yes, your program needs to have weekend onsite persons who can provide the buffer apparently needed between your population and community services from the police. Until the police can show that they have learned to not escalate each and every call with their own adrenaline. PEACE