Week-long initiative is aimed at addressing issues related to homelessness through action, awareness, and support.
Washington, DC— The National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum will host Safer Streets, a week-long initiative from October 5-12, 2020 aimed at addressing issues related to homelessness through action, awareness, and support.
“We know that one day of relief or one week of events is not enough, but we hope through this effort we bring more awareness for people experiencing homelessness, the individuals who work to support them, and the officers who protect and serve them here in Washington, DC and across the country,” said National Law Enforcement Museum Executive Director Thomas Canavan.
Safer Streets will engage law enforcement, mental health professionals, and community leaders in projects to raise awareness of the issues facing the homeless and law enforcement officers who are often called upon to address situations involving homelessness-related health emergencies or public safety challenges.
“One of the cornerstones of our mission is to make it safer for those who serve,” said National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund CEO Marcia Ferranto. “Law enforcement officers are called upon to intervene in a variety of social and mental health crises. The current coronavirus pandemic makes both officers and the homeless population particularly vulnerable, so our Safer Streets week is especially relevant during this global pandemic.”
The following programs will take place during the week-long Safer Streets program:
A Day of Relief, Monday, October 5 from 8:30am to noon (EDT).
In recent months, the homeless population across the country has felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic with few resources to stay healthy. On a nightly basis, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial becomes a place of refuge for the homeless. As an organization dedicated to creating safer communities as well as constructive dialogue, we are providing resources to these individuals to help them remain healthy and nourished as we approach winter months.
The National Law Enforcment Memorial and Museum will bring together law enforcement agencies, faith-based communities, and community organizations to assemble care kits for the area’s most vulnerable residents. The Washington DC Police Foundation, Metropolitan (DC) Police Department, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF), Harvest Life Fellowship, Grace Capital City, and Breadcoin are among the organizations who will assist in assembling care kits in the Museum which will be delivered by representatives from police districts across the city.
This event is in conjunction with a new national initiative led by Movement Forward called National Faith and Blue Weekend (NFBW). The NFBW initiative calls for the law enforcement community and houses of worship to collaborate on community-based events across the country. All NFBW events and activities are being planned for the weekend of October 9-12, 2020.
Panel Discussion: Crisis and Homeless Intervention Strategies: Paths to Progress and Understanding, Wednesday, October 7 from 2:00pm to 3:30pm (EDT).
The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the depth and severity of the nation’s homelessness crisis. As first responders, law enforcement officers are frequently dispatched to address situations involving homelessness-related health emergencies or public safety challenges. Lack of access to regular care for mental and physical health conditions and substance use disorders among people who are homeless can lead to frequent 911 calls and law enforcement interactions.
Moderated by Habsi Kaba, Director ofCrisis Intervention Team (CIT) Miami-Dade County (FL) and Police Mental Health Collaboration, this virtual panel discussion is intended to support these collaborative efforts to better understand unsheltered homelessness, while reducing related contact with the criminal justice system. Registration is free. For more information and registration, click here.
The Faith and Feast Flash Table: Breaking Bread and Barriers, Monday, October 12
from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.
In an effort to foster improved relationships between the homeless population and law enforcement officers, the National Law Enforcement Museum and Memorial will partner with Breadcoin and Washington, DC-area faith communities to host a “flash table” event that will provide opportunities for people to break bread and barriers toward a better understanding of one another on the grounds of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
Socially distanced tables will pop up throughout the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial to host anyone searching for nourishment both physically and spiritually through a free meal and conversation with officers from the Metropolitan (DC) Police Department. This event is also in conjunction with National Faith and Blue Weekend.
For media inquiries about Safer Streets Week programs, please contact Robyn Small at 202-737-8524.
About the National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum
Established in 1984, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to telling the story of American law enforcement and making it safer for those who serve. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial contains the names of 22,217 officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history. For more information about the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, visit LawMemorial.org. Authorized by Congress in 2000, the 57,000-square-foot National Law Enforcement Museum at the Motorola Solutions Foundation Building tells the story of American law enforcement by providing visitors a “walk in the shoes” experience along with educational journeys, immersive exhibitions, and insightful programs. The Museum is an initiative of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization. For more information on the Law Enforcement Museum, visit LawEnforcementMuseum.org.