In regard to the proposed downtown housing project, I'll share a personal story. My family moved to Bellingham 50 years ago. For much of his adult life my brother struggled with the challenges of being bipolar. Intelligent and hard-working, because of his mental health history, he was never able to be financially self-supporting. For years, he delivered The Bellingham Herald, perhaps the only newspaper carrier who had a master's degree in English Literature. He was an enthusiastic volunteer for many community projects. Unlike my brother, many people struggling with mental health issues do not have families who are able to provide emotional and financial support. Finding affordable housing is a major issue, and all too often these people fall victim to the frail nature of the social services safety net. In a community that offers extensive opportunities for care of people who are afflicted with physical maladies, those with mental illnesses or addictions all too often find themselves abandoned. These people are not our enemy. They are simply people who are imperfect, as we all are in one way or another. In response to the business owner who worried that the proposed affordable housing project will turn downtown Bellingham into a "black hole," I suggest that providing shelter for the homeless is a way to demonstrate that we live in a town that has a heart.