Opinion

Tri-City Herald: Thankful for agencies filling needs in the Mid-Columbia

The giving spirit of the Tri-Cities continues to impress even after the holidays.

Prevent Homeless Pets was winding down its Stitch in Time fundraising campaign and had three days to make its $13,000 goal. The hope was to reach that amount by Jan. 6 to qualify for a matching fund, but the nonprofit was short $2,636.

The word went out, and as is common in the Tri-Cities, the community came through in time.

That means the organization now has $26,000 for rent, insurance, licensing fees and utilities at its Benton City clinic. That’s a great way to start its year.

Prevent Homeless Pets is a worthwhile organization that serves Central Washington and Eastern Oregon. It provides low-cost spay and neuter services for cats and dogs owned by people with low-incomes, or for animals who have no owner. Low-income veterans also can get complimentary spay and neuter services for their pets. The nonprofit is still accepting donations, and any money collected now will go to helping fund these programs.

The agency was incorporated in 2009 and has been growing ever since. Last year, 3,446 cats and 872 dogs were altered at the clinic, along with 200 cats belonging to low-income owners. That is a significant amount of animals; imagine if they had litters.

Having an organization that helps control the feral cat population is huge asset, and so is providing the service to pet owners who might struggle financially to take proper care of their animals. We’re glad Tri-Citians were able to support this worthy cause and keep it going.

Money for housing

Another a great need that looks like it will be met soon is more family housing for farmworkers.

Catholic Charities Spokane recently received a $2 million state grant to help build an 86-unit apartment complex in Othello. The agency’s current farmworker housing in Pasco and Othello have long waiting lists and this additional building should ease that. John Fisher, housing development manager for the nonprofit, said what affordable housing is available is not necessarily suitable for families.

It will be built south of the charity’s existing Desert Haven apartment building. We hope the neighboring community will embrace the new complex and welcome its occupants. Farmworkers provide a crucial service to the agriculture industry and it is important they have a safe place to raise their families. If all goes according to plan, the building would be ready by summer 2016.

That’s a ways off, but we are glad to see the plan for more farmworker housing is in the works.

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