• I think it’s important to consider the implications of why people are profoundly impacted by homelessness in our own city, namely because of skyrocketing cost-of-living due to port development and investors who are seeking to capitalize on ocean front property. Affordable housing options are becoming obsolete and more of our middle-class population are facing down-scaling their living circumstances or losing what they have considered their security. As the middle-class is forced into poverty, those in poverty are forced to the streets. This is the reality. Chronic illness and debilitating coping mechanisms only amplify the already devastating socioeconomic crisis our nation is facing. Underground drug cartel is undermining our city and targeting the vulnerable population living on the streets trying to survive. I agree that it is our “nameless” “faceless” population that is being damaged and ostracized from services every human being deserves — the basic rights to shelter, food, water, and a place to relieve themselves daily NO MATTER WHAT THEIR HEALTH CONDITION MAY BE. If a person lacks community support, we are failing as a community. The relationships and personification of care is substantiated by human responsiveness and failure to meet these needs is a failure of our city and as a people. Religious organizations that play host to what is a critical factor we all must coordinate and nurture on a social level only do so with the intention to garner notoriety for their “good works” and it is a vicious engine at work that enables homelessness to continue under the guise of charitable action.

  • The Mission serves itself and has let down countless individuals who cannot receive services for which our city has been impotent to address. The Sleep Out for Awareness on December 4th 2017 revealed countless testimonies that have been ignored regarding the lack of services our unhoused population are in truth experiencing, services from the Mission that are not accessible to them without risk and hazard. While the intention and dialogue from Mission organizers may appear philanthropic, do not be mislead. The true calling for our city is to address immediate needs that provide sufficient services for ALL PEOPLE residing in Bellingham, WA no matter what their race, creed, sex, age, health, or net worth. Housing is a HUMAN RIGHT for which all people deserve. Our bond as a community is in our responsiveness to those experiencing hardship beginning with shelter and proceeding with outreach services that can further be provided within the stability of a home.

  • Represent the HOUSING FIRST Model in its ENTIRETY which is 1) Housing the person FIRST 2) Assessing their situation 3) Providing a network for rehabilitation and community support. These are the factors not expressed in this article for which I am sorely disappointed. The restrictions in our city and county are LAND USE and POLITICS.

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