JASON RANTZ

Everett teenager cleans up three tons of homeless camp trash, used needles

May 9, 2019, 4:16 PM | Updated: 4:17 pm
Trash left by a homeless camp in the area outside of Christian's dad's business. (Christian Koontz) The five gallon bucket of needles Christian cleaned up. (Christian Koontz) The homeless camp area after Christian's four-day cleanup effort. (Christian Koontz) Christian's clean-up of the area behind his dad's business was extensive. (Christian Koontz)

Everett teenager Christian Koontz could have spent his spring break on vacation, but what he chose to do instead was help clean up trash and needles left by a homeless camp outside his dad’s business.

RELATED: Homeless could be paid to pick up trash in city near you
RELATED: State, city begin cleaning up homeless garbage

Koontz’s father is a dentist in the area, and had finally had enough of a homeless camp in a wooded area near his building. After calling the local sheriff’s office to have them relocate the camp, veritable tons of trash were left behind. That’s when his son, Christian, stepped in to help.

“I think at first my dad tried to get some day laborers to help out, but they just thought it was way too dangerous, and they didn’t want any part of it,” he told KTTH’s Jason Rantz. “That’s why my dad asked me if I would do it.”

Wearing two pairs of gloves, sturdy boots, pants, and a thick sweatshirt, Christian managed to clear out roughly three tons of trash over four days, and fill a five-gallon bucket with used needles.

That trash included everything from rotting food to old clothes, most of which Christian was able to clear away virtually by himself, while his dad helped clean up across the neighboring park.

Fitting into the culture of giving back often promoted by the Seattle Sounders, Christian is actually a left back for the team’s youth academy.

“A couple of coaches have come up to me and told me how proud they are — they know good deeds are not just for yourself but for the community,” he said.

There’s still work to do cleaning up trash in the neighborhood, but Christian and his dad hope that this will at least help get things started.

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Everett teenager cleans up three tons of homeless camp trash, used needles