Letters to the Editor

Homeless plan is shameful

This letter is in response to the article regarding the police chief’s mission to break up the homeless camps and ship the homeless out of Federal Way (April 19, “Homeless camps on their way out”). Shame on us. I am appalled at the arrogance of this community.

Homelessness is a real issue in our society. It is not going to go away by shipping people (yes, even the homeless are people) to another jurisdiction. Rather than kick them out of town, we should be developing human services to support these vulnerable individuals.

This particular population is termed chronically homeless by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and identified as the most difficult to serve. These individuals tend to have chronic mental health and substance abuse problems. It is likely they will never have much more of a life than just existing day to day. But they are still people. At one time, they had families and experienced joy and sadness, just as we do. They deserve some decency and respect as human beings.

It’s true Federal Way does not currently have the services these folks need. The answer is not kicking them out of town; it’s developing the services that will help provide basic needs –– food and shelter –– while protecting our neighborhoods.

Shame on us that we have money for a new city hall, beautiful parks and new streets, but nothing to help those in our community with the most need. It’s our responsibility as human beings to provide for the needs of all people, not just the elite. Maybe our sign welcoming people to Federal Way should say “Home to only those that fit into society.”

Shame on us.

Debbie Cato

Federal Way

Editor: Ms. Cato is the director of a housing program in Pierce County that serves homeless families with children.

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