As reported on March 5, Rep. Vincent Buys (R., Lynden) voted against the bill that has reduced homelessness in our county. His justification I believe willingly ignores the Great Recession, during which few fees were collected because of the housing crash. He ignores the fact that homelessness among veterans - so important to us - was reduced 60 percent in Whatcom County. His belief that churches (his words to me in a meeting) should take care of the poor, ignores the fact that the Catholic Church has done more for taking care of the poor than any entity other than the government - but it is tapped out. Together, Catholic Community Services and Catholic Housing Services provide 22 shelters, 17 transitional housing facilities and 45 permanent housing properties in Western Washington. But more support is needed.
The document fee to fund the elimination of homelessness bill (HR 2368) I believe is an excellent piece of legislation that must be made permanent. It allows those who are fortunate enough to buy real estate to pay a tiny fee that then provides landlords with stable rent payments from the formerly homeless.
We are not a third world country where the poor are ignored. We are supposedly a developed country that can solve problems. Homelessness is a problem in our beautiful state; I believe this solution to provide funding that works needs to be extended and made permanent.