SOS started on July 4th, 2019 in response to a newspaper article in the local paper, The Peninsula Daily News. A large REGIONAL Drug Treatment Facility would be built to offer Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) to people from the surrounding region - an area covering thousands of square miles.
The opioid-stricken would be bused or otherwise transported into this small farming community and tourist destination for daily doses of Methadone or Suboxone. Some would receive monthly Vivitrol shots. Other facilities are already in place nearby to offer these services locally yet Sequim was targeted for this REGIONAL project. With no hospital, limited police or emergency services and minimal tax base to accommodate the impact of hundreds of drug treatment commuters, it seemed we should have a plan for dealing with this influx. But there was no plan, only assurances that our concerns were imaginary.
This REGIONAL public facility was planned, funded and executed solely by State Representatives and other public officials and developers. The project was screened from the public interest and planned without communication or broad public input until it was lauded in the newspaper as a "done deal." Why would our officials keep such a project hidden from the public? They even went so far as to misrepresent it as a simple "Medical Clinic." This would allow an Administrative or rubber stamp-type of approval process for building permits, further excluding public input or support.
We are not opposed to a right-sized Drug Treatment Center with proper public involvement. But to force a REGIONAL center onto this small, close-knit community without a needs assessment or any impact study or readiness plan is irresponsible and possibly negligent.
Community members voiced concerns on social media and the SOS Facebook Group quickly swelled to include thousands of members. Save Our Sequim formed as a result. Our goal was to evaluate the social impact of drug addiction and homelessness that this project would have on the community. We hoped to guide future policy to minimize the negative changes we had observed in other cities in the region. SOS was organized as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation on August 5, 2019.
We are a volunteer organization with no paid staff, so 100% of your contributions go to support our efforts. Our dedicated Legal Fund provides for litigation and legal research, and our General Fund supports our public information and educational efforts. Your donations are greatly appreciated. Please specify Legal or General Fund. Donations are not tax deductible at this time.
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