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Grassroots work

Safe Streets needs CFC funding

Traci Kelly, development associate at Safe Streets, wants to further the organization’s message of safety. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

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Safe Streets is about safety, empowerment and community.

For over a quarter of a century, the organization has been serving the Pierce County and Joint Base Lewis-McChord communities.

Located in downtown Tacoma, Safe Streets is a nonprofit organization that brings people together to take back their streets.

"During the late 1980s, there was a great deal of gang-related violence," explained Traci Kelly, development associate.

"Our mission then, as it is today, is to empower individuals, organizations and youths to create safe and healthy neighborhoods through grassroots community change."

Since inception, Safe Streets has used an inclusive approach to improve the safety of neighborhoods, empower young people to become involved in leadership roles, establish partnerships with local businesses, and consequently create safer and better communities for years to come.

"We've grown; we work in all areas of Pierce County," continued Kelly.

But work at the grassroots level does not end.  

In order to continue this work, the Safe Streets' budget requires Combined Federal (CFC) Campaign donations.

One hundred percent of every CFC dollar goes directly into programs designed to help communities.

When asked about the percentage of CFC funds used for Safe Streets programs, Kelly hesitated.

"We received only $300 last year; it was very easy to ensure 100 percent expenditure on programs," she said quietly.

To illustrate her point, Kelly said that Safe Streets had an AmeriCorps volunteer whose numerous duties involved reaching out to the military community at JBLM in an effort to help transitioning veterans.

"We wanted to see how we could work with veterans and their families in order to make a positive difference, " Kelly added.

But due to the poor funding from campaigns like the CFC, the volunteer had to be let go, and another opportunity to help veterans and the greater Pierce County region was lost.

"Presently, we have no capacity to reinstate someone to that position," Kelly said.

"If we had more funding, then we could."

Here is an opportunity for CFC donations to be pledged to the Safe Streets organization that empowers individuals while it works to ensure a safe community.

That's worth more than $300.

Safe Streets' CFC donation code is 68758.

For more information, visit www.safest.org or call 253.272.6824.

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