Every morning around that timeframe I hear her yelling. Anyone knows what is going on?
Lady yelling every morning 3-5am @greenwood ave& 85th(25 posts)
This poor soul is a homeless woman who appears to be profoundly disturbed. She camps out in various doorways on the block between 85th & 87th and her demons come out around 3 a.m. or so. There is a discussion in the Forum from a few weeks ago about how to try to get her some help.
Thanks for the reply. I'm sorry but for some reason I am unable to browse through older than 3 week topics from my droid phone. Aren't there phyciatric institutions that can be contacted so she can get the medications and shelter she obviously needs?
Hi Moni. I can't seem to access those older posts either. As to getting her some help,involuntarily on her part, the legal standad (as I understand it) is that she must be shown to be a danger to herself or others, and that standard is very strictly interpreted in her favor. The fact that she howls at either visceral or imaginary demons at all hours is probably not sufficient cause for an involuntary committment. I have read from others on this post that she darts into traffic occasionally, but I personally have not witnessed this. My experience with her to date is that when she's not acting in a volatile manner she's nearly comatose. She has been decompensating in the last couple weeks though.
While it may seem somewhat draconian, our local SPD resources are: North Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator is Terrie Johnston firstname.lastname@example.org (206-684-7711)and the North Precinct Community Policing Team officer for this area is Officer Penny Fulmer email@example.com (206-684-0794). I'll be calling/emailing tomorrow. I hope you find this helpful and thanks for caring. Regards - S'sB
It's not draconian to call the police to try to get help for an obviously suffering fellow human being. Another possibility is to call the Crisis Clinic: (206)461-3222. They have lots of resources and there are mental health professionals who will go to a person and try to get them the correct help.
This woman is obviously impaired and vulnerable, she needs help. Unfortunately, the mental health laws leave too many people, men and women, on our streets with conditions that make them unable to care for themselves. Perhaps the police or mental health professionals will take the time to get this hurting woman the help them need.
I'm glad I live in a neighborhood that cares for everyone...
I came to the PhinneyWood forums specifically to see if this matter was already being discussed; I'm happy to find it is.
I have thus far been hesitant to call the police, since SPD aren't mental health professionals AND have a questionable track record of dealing with volatile situations. (Google "John T. Williams", "Christopher Harris", "Mexican piss", or the ongoing DOJ investigation for starters.)
That being said, this woman has been a constant presence in the neighborhood since at least April. It's clear she isn't receiving any sort of help, and her untreated schizophrenia is growing progressively worse as time passes. What used to be an occasional fit of grumbling in the afternoon has become an hours-long obscenity laden tirade occurring every 8-12 hours.
After four months of hoping this situation would resolve itself, it's clearly time to start contacting people. Thanks for the info, shesback.
For the record, the older thread mentioned above is located at:
I managed to find it by going to the tags page, clicking a tag, and modifying the tag in the URL to search for "homeless" instead. Between the spam, lack of post archives, and non-searchability, the PhinneyWood forums can be a tough place to navigate.
I saw a homeless woman camped out side Greenwood Optical Sunday, July 29 around 5PM. She was hunched down in blankets with a shopping cart and other debris. Pretty sad situation.
Hi neighbors. What follows is a very thorough (IMHO) response to my email to our community officer. I'm relieved that our lady is on their radar, but given the sad state of publicly funded social services these days, I'm wondering if there isn't some grass-roots volunteer or eccumenical (spelling?) resources out there. Any ideas?
Response from Officer Fulmer:
Thank you for taking the time to express your concern for this woman. We believe her first name is Gayle, although this is not confirmed.
Approximately two or so weeks ago I contacted our SPD Crisis Intervention Team and Mental Health Provider. These two entities work together. I have further initiated contact with HOST, an out reach program for homeless people who are experiencing difficulties due to mental challenges, alcohol addiction, and the like.
Gayle has been assigned a case worker.
Many situations such as Gayle's present mental health, social workers, police and the public at large with challenges. Although such cases are extremely difficult to witness, there remain certain criteria that must be established in order for action.
As a police officer I have to consider such factors as whether the person is posing an actual threat to others, is a threat to themselves or if they are gravely disabled. The standards for these criteria have to be met and clearly articulated by law enforcement in order to do what is called an involuntary commitment. If these standards can be clearly established and an involuntary commitment is performed, the person is typically then transported to a local hospital for an evaluation. Often times this is to Harborview Medical Center.
If the person commits a crime and is arrested and their action appears to be directly linked to their mental disorder and can be articulated as such, an arrest can be made and the person, although taken to jail, will may face the option of what we refer to as "mental court". With this, mental health care and the court attempt to work with the person to address the mental disorder and at times the charges may not be filed if the person complies with a treatment program. If they choose not to comply, then the court may choose to file charge in a standard court. In light of this, I have yet to find an actual crime that Gayle has done. I've been asking the public to report this to me so that I may follow up on it. Unfortunately infractions do not qualify (littering, jay walking, etc.).
I know that Gayle yells very offensive comments at random and is verbally confrontational when people attempt to address her comments. To date I have not heard from any of the concerned citizens I've talked to
who have been the victim of a crime by Gayle. If a report of a crime and a person that is willing to testify in court as the victim of a crime performed by Gayle emerge, then Gayle may be a candidate for arrest and mental health court. This would be helpful to all concerned...Gayle, the neighbors in Greenwood, police, mental health providers and social worker.
What I am asking is that if anyone is the victim of a crime performed by Gayle, please call 911 and report it immediately. If too much time passes between an occurrence and the report of it, the commission may be considered to old.
The mental health workers have very similar if not the same criteria to demonstrate that law enforcement does.
I know many people have become frustrated in this matter as I have, as Gayle often yells racist epithets. Simply yelling such things absent of any actual crime, although offensive, is not illegal.
As I attempt to address the issues surrounding Gayle, with assistance from the other entities mentioned, as a law enforcement officer I have to delicately and clearly work within the Constitution, specifically the first and fourth Amendment.
I am very appreciative of your e-mail and would like to remain in contact with you about Gayle. If you know of someone who has been the victim of a crime of Gayle, please tell them to CALL 911 AND FILE A REPORT. In addition, I would request they notify me after this of the incident and provide their case number to me. If you could be so kind as to pass my e-mail address and phone number along, I would really appreciate that.
With all this said, I want you to know we are working on it and to understand some of the challenges we face along the way when trying to help people suffering from mental illness. I believe we will eventually be able to help in this matter, but it will likely take more time than we all wish.
Again, thank you for your time and consideration.
Officer Penelope Fulmer
Seattle Police Department
Community Police Team
All the really great things in life are expressed in the simplest words:
friends and family; purpose and meaning; love and work; caring and
community; appreciation and gratitude.
Thank you for posting this. We live in America and while it is a great thing our rights are being respected why does it always come to this- something bad has to happen before anything is done? Granted you cannot force someone to get help if they do not want (maybe she wants to be helped?), and she has not been violent (apperently, at least not yet). Frustrating...while uncomfortable for me I admit, it must be worse for Gayle. I have never been homeless, it must be hell, add on that mental illness.
I spoke to an SPD rep over the weekend via their non-emergency hotline. After discussing the situation, they asked me to call 911 to report middle-of-the-night disturbances so officers can investigate. I did so on Sunday morning and, while the 911 operator said they have received numerous complaints in recent weeks, there was no apparent follow-up and the tirades continue unabated.
I'm a rabid proponent of protecting civil liberties, but the last time a homeless person with untreated mental illness spent time in Greenwood, he ended up burning down four businesses and causing $3 million dollars worth of damage. It's amazing that the police are content to sit on their hands until lives and livelihoods are put in danger.
It is not only middle of the night/early morning. She was have one hell of a rant this afternoon at about 1:00 P.M. in front of the Baranof. She was even so sweet at to call me a "shithead" last night. I called the police on her last week when she was having a good howl at about midnight, but they never responded.
Shesback... Kudos to you for going above and beyond. It is too bad that not much can be done at this time / state. Thank you for caring.
7:13 P.M. Tuesday, August 31 and she's still going strong in front of the Baranof.
Maybe the trumpeteer could go blast at her for, I dunno, five straight hours?
To be honest, the result would be virtually indistinguishable from a Tom Waits album.
There is a new Crisis Center opening and it sounds like its target audience includes people like the woman who yells in Greenwood: http://www.kuow.org/program.php?id=27523.
The availability of this resource may help the first responders do something now. During her next rant, call the police. Hopefully, they know about the Crisis Center. And then keep trying until she gets the services that she desparately needs.
I saw the woman for the first time the other day, I feel so sorry for her. I haven't noticed her yelling for a few nights, though.
@ tylerdurden: I'm with you on the trumpet. It's from right next door to us and while the person is good, after a while it gets really quite annoying.
As well as the news item this morning on KUOW regarding the Crisis Solutions Center programs, there was also an article in the Times (sorry, can't seem to copy a good link).
Below is an update that I received from Officer Fulmer:
I wanted to take a moment to update you about Gail.
I just received more info about her that may prove useful to her case worker. I passed this info along and her case worker plans to attempt another visit with Gail and a Crisis Intervention Team Officer. She re-iterated to me that she has to work with the same criteria I do, but did seem hopeful.
Officer Penelope Fulmer
Seattle Police Department
Community Police Team
She was ranting for hours this morning after 2 am at the Baranof, yelling at someone. Most of her ranting now includes "you will die, you will die today". This is ridiculous, only a matter of time before either she hurts someone, or call the wrong person the n word and she gets hurt. Some of us also live in the Towers and work for a living....time to give off. Fulmer a call.
Here is a link to the article in the Seattle Times about the Crisis Center: http://mobile.seattletimes.com/story/today/2018828503/track-.-.-./
Thanks for the link ZoeDog. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
Moni - did you connect with Officer Fulmer? Anything to share?
Gail/Gayle had a rough night last night I'm also a resident of the Towers Apartments and from where I was sitting (because it was impossible to sleep) I heard her being taunted and harrassed by some drunken bar-hoppers around 2:20a.m. or so (it sounded like they were in my living room they were so loud). Someone apparently called the cops, and an officer did respond. I heard him talk to her and get her settled down. A little while later (around 3:00 a.m.) I heard someone quietly talking to her (I hoped it was her community mental health team) and that's when I heard her start in with the "You're going to die" stuff.
It's now 1:00 a.m. and she's been going strong fo a while, albeit down the street a bit. This is a sad situation that is exhausting all of us. Sorry for the rant. S'sB
Thanks everyone for all the teamwork, I think i like my neighbors:) I posted that original post back in June, and am so grateful fo everyone trying to bring this to a resolution that improves everyone's quality of at least the hours between midnight and 6am :)
My understanding is that she's relatively easy to move away from one storefront, and while that could even extend to out of the neighborhood altogether, then she'll just be in someone else's home. But there, she probably won't have what is probably one of the more supportive - yet measured - communities of people trying to get her help, while protecting the rest of the neighborhood. So, kind of a pain, but compassionate all around.
I'm gonna check out that new crisis center website. I wish there were a way to help somewhere between just calling the cops, or becoming a social worker. A donation? Hmmmm. Ok thanks again everyone.
Just adding my 2 cents. About 2 weeks ago I contacted Bill Block at the Committee to End Homelessness about her and this is the reply I got back.
"I am cc’ing Chloe Gale, who supervises an outreach team, to make sure she is aware that this person is in need of help. If her team is not the correct one to respond, I am sure that she will pass the notification along. It is possible that the woman is resistant to help. It can take the outreach teams a long time to establish the sort of relationship where someone is willing to accept help, and unless she is a danger to herself or others, involuntary treatment is not an option.
Thank you for caring, and for letting us know about this person in need."
I would love to see her get some help that she obviously needs. Maybe if other people contacted them with their info on her behavior than an outreach team would come out faster to evaluate her situation.
Here is the info:
401 Fifth avenue Suite 500
Seattle, WA 98104
To those who have taken action to help this woman: Thank you! Most incredibly awesome.
I hope that this woman gets what she needs. I cannot imagine what her reality must be like.
Thanks for more follow-up and sharing resource information samanthak! Regards - S'sB
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