Seattle police officers help homeless family long after emergency call

SEATTLE — Life on the streets is tough, especially for young children.

Summer, a mother of four, found herself stuck in an intersection in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood in a van that wouldn’t move. Four officers from the Seattle Police Department responded to the emergency, getting her family out of harm’s way.

They cleared the call a couple of weeks ago, but haven’t stopped visiting the family.

“They pushed me over here with their police unit and have been checking on me every day since,” Summer said.

>> Deputy, off-duty police officer save 11-year-old from fiery crash

Late last week, officers Elizabeth Scott and Joseph Macniak brought supplies for Summer’s children, who are ages 7, 5, 18 months and six months. The family lives in the run-down van they drove from North Dakota. Summer followed a friend who came to Seattle to scatter her daughter’s ashes.

“Stuck in a bind right now” is how Summer describes it.

She is grateful for the officers, who spent their own money on diapers and food for the children.

“If it wasn’t for them, I don’t know what I’d be doing, or where I’d be,” Summer said.

“It’s not somewhere I’d want my daughter to be, so we do what we can,” Macniak said.

The officers helped connect the family with housing options, and have offered to help with travel home to North Dakota, if that’s what Summer decides she needs.

>> Off-duty officer saves hiker stranded on beach rocks in Olympic National Park

“So often we are there on people’s worst days,” Scott said. “So when we get an opportunity to do something good, bring some joy to some people, we love those opportunities.”

“The officers could have easily cleared that call and gone to the next one, but these officers decided to go a little deeper,” said their supervisor, Sgt. Joshua Dunbar.

At first, the officers didn’t tell Dunbar how they were helping Summer and her kids. When he found out, “I wanted to make sure these police officers are recognized for the genuine care they display.”

It’s hard to know what’s next for Summer and her family, but, at this moment, she is grateful that the officers keep showing up, helping when she needs it most.

“I just want to cry because they’re how officers are supposed to be, out there to serve and protect you.”