Supports fees to aid homeless

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJanuary 22, 2014 

Every once in a while, government makes a brilliant decision. Funding programs to reduce homelessness with document fees (like during real estate transactions) is one example. In Bellingham, document fees have effectively reduced homelessness 34 percent, and among veterans 60 percent. Something good is happening here!

Why should our fully employed, graduate-degreed family care about homelessness? We became a statistic when our daughter was diagnosed with a stage 4 cancer. Her two young adult sons living with her could not provide the intense personal care she needed. We moved in with her, and they moved out, we helped one get his credit rating clean, so he moved to an apartment. His brother, hit hard by his mother's diagnosis, turned back to drugs to deal with his trauma. We tried various agencies in Boise to get help, but he was not ready for a sober house. Now, we have a homeless grandson, one we pray for every day.

The document fee legislation is due to be phased out in the next two years. People like you and me can benefit should the unspeakable ever hit your family, as it did ours. Reducing homelessness in general is in our middle-class benefit, safer, prettier streets. Olympia: Stop the sunset of document fees, because they work: they reduce homelessness.

Kathleen Langdon

Bellingham

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