LETTER: Reader thinks $$ for CARES should have gone to homeless shelter
[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The B-Town Blog nor its staff:]
The Burien City Council C.A.R.E.S Vote:
On June 9, 2016 a blog post by Jack Mayne was posted via the B-Town (Burien) Blog on Facebook discussing the recent council decision to extend the CARES program through 2017.
A follow up exchange between members of the community increased my understanding of the issues surrounding this program. Although enlightening, this additional context did not change my viewpoint about the benefits of this program vs. the cost to the tax payers of Burien. Nor did it change my perspective on the limited reach of this program for the diverse residents in our community. Ultimately all government programs should create a positive financial gain for our city and this program does not do that.
One of the most concerning factors of this decision is the opportunity costs. Instead of funding a program with such a limited impact in the community financially, the Council should look at an opportunity to create a first of its kind housing program for those who do not have transitional shelter or emergency shelter currently. Given the increase in housing prices and the focus on homelessness across King County we had the opportunity to influence the conversation across our region while helping those who need assistance finding a path to a sustainable future. Using the money allocated for the CARES program to purchase and run a short term shelter and associated services would not only provide citizens in our community the assistance they need; it would also help these people become contributing members of our community. The solution to our city’s problems is within our reach and control.
While animal control is an important issue it is also one with an existing solution in King County. It is only by focusing on new and innovative solutions that we can start to address the long term issues for our city.
Robert L Richmond III
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