‘Every bit helps’ in downtown revitalization – ` 7 News Seattle

SEATTLE — More than 160 volunteers came together in Seattle on Saturday for a “Day of Service.”

The event was organized by Together Washington, the Seattle Metro Chamber, the Downtown Seattle Association and the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle.

The service day comes as the city has faced growing challenges over the past year, such as a dramatic rise in violent crime and a slowed downtown recovery from the pandemic.

The homeless crisis also continues to be an enduring concern. According to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office, 2022 saw 310 homeless deaths, a record high for the county.

“It’s a pretty serious issue. Both for Seattle and people that come visit, it’s a very big issue,” said Intse, a Seattle resident and volunteer.

She’s not alone in acknowledging the difficulties Seattle faced in 2022.

2023 has also brought a slew of city-wide hardships, including mass tech layoffs and the shuttering of downtown businesses.

Through the “Day of Service,” people could take matters into their own hands to preserve the city they love.

“I actually just moved here from Kentucky, so I wanted to do my part in helping my new city,” said Evan.

He was one of several volunteers that spent their weekend cleaning up Seattle’s downtown. They did so through acts of service, like trash cleanup, graffiti removal, and gardening.

“It’s so important that we’re doing work to beautify downtown,” said Rachel Smith with the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. “We’re going to be there every step of the way, engaging folks to clean it up, make it more beautiful.”

Smith told ` 7 that while these volunteer efforts may not solve some of Seattle’s more glaring issues, every bit helps when it comes to improving and investing in this city.

Jake, a volunteer, also acknowledged the challenges that Seattle faces but said hope is not lost.

“I think what makes any community, especially a city, what it is, is the people in it and how much they’re willing to help and give back,” said Jake. “Things will get better and better, slowly.”

Smith told ` 7 that the Chamber of Commerce plans to have many more “Days of Service” in 2023 and encourages anyone wishing to get involved to contact their office.