Today, the Governor will come to Lewis County and have meetings and a press conference on homelessness. He is very big on doing public press conferences, but he’s quite short on actually doing anything. You hear a lot about homelessness as one issue, but it isn’t. There are homeless who have had a crisis in their lives and need help getting back on their feet. They need more affordable housing (reducing regulations would work well here – an idea opposed by Democrats) and more good jobs that allow for increases in income (a problem that the $15 min wage has not helped at all), so they can get back on their feet. Obviously, some need financial help, as well. It’s what the safety net is for.
However, there are two other kinds of homeless that nobody seems to want to address – one type is the person who would prefer not to work and/or would rather live on the streets than to come clean. Those people need consequences for their decision – and the consequences need to be something other than letting them make our streets and vacant lots into a place that are a danger to the public. Many of these people have homeless shelters available, but they don’t want to participate because they don’t want to follow the rules. That is a totally different issue from the one above. There was a bill several years ago that said if you were between 19-49, able-bodied, with no dependents, and with no disabilities, you had to at least be looking for a job or going to school to be on food stamps for more than 3 months. The bill couldn’t get through the process. That, at least, would have provided a bit of incentive for those who are able to take care of themselves.
Finally, there are those who have mental issues or are dealing with disabilities. Again, while there is great fanfare in Olympia by the Democrats for more free college and increased teacher wages, our Mental Health issues continue to remain unaddressed. The Republicans have been pushing for years to get our mental health system working better, but they’ve been stopped by the majority who would rather spend money on things that are more popular. We need people in office who will take action – and action that will address the problem, not just throwing more tax payer dollars at the system that isn’t working in the first place.