Port Angeles City Council renews ReDiscovery program agreement

Officials pursuing $99,750 grant

PORT ANGELES — The City Council has renewed an agreement with Olympic Peninsula Community Clinic to continue the ReDiscovery program.

The grant-funded program is a partnership between the clinic and the Port Angeles Police Department in which a social worker is embedded with officers to connect people on the streets with medical services and resources that could help them avoid the court system.

Amy Miller, a community change agent with the program, has had thousands of contacts with homeless individuals since the program began in June 2018, city officials said.

The council voted 6-0 last Tuesday to approve the professional services agreement with Olympic Peninsula Community Clinic pending a new grant for 2019 and 2020.

Council member Mike French recused himself from the vote because he serves on the Olympic Peninsula Community Clinic board.

Aug. 20 request

Port Angeles Chief of Police Brian Smith said he would appear before a Washington Association of Sheriffs & Police Chiefs (WASPC) review panel Tuesday, Aug. 20 to request the $99,750 grant.

The 2018-19 WASPC grant funded the program and 1.5 contracted positions. If approved, the new grant would maintain the same level of service through June 2020.

“We’ll actually by close of business on the 20th know what we’ve been awarded, but having this agreement in place allows us to be ready,” Smith told the council.

“It’s identical to what you approved last year.”

Miller has said that many of those she has engaged initially declined services but were eventually connected to shelters, detox services, substance use disorder treatment and housing.

“I’m just grateful that this is back before us now, and hopeful that our full grant request comes through,” Deputy Mayor Kate Dexter said.

“I really think the grant program is valuable, and I really appreciate the work that particularly Amy Miller does but also the police department. I think it’s just been a really good program for our community.”

Smith said there was a pause in the ReDiscovery program but it was reactivated Aug. 2.

“I think the community has noticed the effort your Police Department’s putting in, and I look forward to receiving this grant again,” City Council member Cherie Kidd told Smith.

“I really applaud the work of the police department. This is great community service.”

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsula dailynews.com.

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