Fed up with the heroin epidemic sweeping Snohomish County, a group of moms are doing something about it. They're taking matters into their own hands and doing the dirty work of keeping their kids safe.
The stench hit them before they even started work on Saturday -- a handful of ladies venturing into a place you wouldn't want anybody to go, let alone your mom.
"This is the first time it's made me gag," said Jasmine Jones. "The smell is overwhelming."
"And this isn't even the worst we've been to," added Cate Harrington.
These moms and their neighbors are doing their weekend housework. It's housework that involves cleaning out a rancid drug den in the doorway of a North Everett church.
"This really hurts me," said Harrington. "It doesn't matter what religion you are. It's the whole lack of respect thing."
Respect is one of the first things these mothers taught their kids growing up. Now, they're teaching by example. They're cleaning Everett's streets, parks and playgrounds of needles, trash and human waste left behind by the homeless and addicted.
They're not just doing it for their children, but for everyone's.
"There's urine and feces and needles over there," said Alicia Cappola. "We don't want anyone's kids around that, so we're cleaning it up."
Harrington said the most heartbreaking part of this work is when she comes across a mother who is also an addict.
"The very people we're kicking out of the park are thanking us because they understand why we're here."
The women are part of a Facebook group called Take Back Our Neighborhood -- N. Everett.
They are happy to help moms in other communities organize, as well.
While they know the needles and all the rest will soon return, these moms refuse to just ignore the problem.
It's not what moms like these do.
"It's absolutely disgusting," said Cappola. "We shouldn't have to do this, but someone needs to."
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