[Hpn] Work Begins On A Program For Homeless

William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Tue, 16 Aug 2005 10:56:15 -0400


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Tuesday August 16, 2005 =20

Work begins on program for homeless

Thurston County is in line for a new, annual infusion of financial aid =
to fight homelessness in South Sound.=20


The 2005 state Legislature passed the Homelessness Housing Assistance =
Act, which adds a $10 surcharge to real estate transactions in counties =
that chose to participate in the program.=20

Sixty percent of the money remains in the counties where it is =
collected, provided those counties develop 10-year plans to reduce or =
help eliminate homelessness.=20

The rest goes to the state to work on a similar statewide effort.=20

Here in Thurston County, the new law could provide approximately =
$250,000 a year during the next 10 years to deal with homelessness.=20

While no amount of money will ever completely end homelessness in South =
Sound, this dedicated funding should be a big help in reducing the sheer =
number of homeless people.=20

The latest countywide survey estimated the number of homeless people at =
700, with 56 percent males and 44 percent females.=20

First things first. Local officials, homeless advocates and homeless =
people need to work together on a plan that meets the requirements of =
the law.=20

Again, without a plan by the end of the year, the county won't be =
eligible for money.=20

Thurston is among eight counties developing plans.=20

Four others -- King, Pierce, Yakima and Whatcom counties -- have =
completed theirs.=20

The law does not restrict creative thinking. Each plan can be tailored =
to a specific community's needs.=20

Some of the projects and programs that could be included in a South =
Sound strategy to reduce homelessness are:=20


a.. Construction of transitional housing to help people get back on =
their feet and off the streets.=20
In a survey of homeless people in Thurston County, the inability to pay =
rent or a mortgage was given as the No. 1 reason for homelessness.=20


a.. Expansion of programs to deal with alcohol and drug abuse, family =
counseling, medical care, job training and medical care.=20
Family breakups, mental illness, drug or alcohol abuse and job loss were =
all among the top five reasons homeless people said they were on the =
street.=20


a.. Programs that specifically target young people.=20
About 35 percent of the people identified as homeless in Thurston County =
are age 21 or younger, including 105 people ages 18 to 21, 88 people =
ages 6 to 17, and 56 people age 5 or younger.=20

There always will be a certain percentage of the population that is =
homeless in this society.=20

An effective program would allow anyone who wants to get off the street =
do just that.











New Hampshire Homeless  / Founded 11-28-99
25 Granite Street
Northfield,N.H. 03276-1640  USA
Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human rights.
1-603-286-2492
http://www.missingkids.com
http://www.nationalhomeless.org
http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org

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<DIV>Tuesday&nbsp;August&nbsp;16,&nbsp;2005&nbsp;
<SCRIPT type=3Dtext/javascript>postCount('967');</SCRIPT>
 <!-- story content --><!-- ARTICLE HEADLINE --><SPAN =
class=3Dhead1></SPAN></DIV>
<DIV><SPAN class=3Dhead1></SPAN>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><SPAN class=3Dhead1>Work begins on program for =
homeless</SPAN><BR></DIV><!-- ARTICLE BODY TEXT--><!-- BODY TEXT -->
<P>Thurston County is in line for a new, annual infusion of financial =
aid to=20
fight homelessness in South Sound. </P>
<DIV id=3DinStory>
<SCRIPT language=3DJavaScript>
OAS_AD('300x250_1');

</SCRIPT>
<A=20
href=3D"http://gcirm.theolympian.com/RealMedia/ads/click_lx.ads/news.theo=
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sty/oly_fire_insty2.gif/34316166623262353433303166646230"=20
target=3D_blank></A></DIV>
<P>The 2005 state Legislature passed the Homelessness Housing Assistance =
Act,=20
which adds a $10 surcharge to real estate transactions in counties that =
chose to=20
participate in the program.=20
<P>Sixty percent of the money remains in the counties where it is =
collected,=20
provided those counties develop 10-year plans to reduce or help =
eliminate=20
homelessness.=20
<P>The rest goes to the state to work on a similar statewide effort.=20
<P>Here in Thurston County, the new law could provide approximately =
$250,000 a=20
year during the next 10 years to deal with homelessness.=20
<P>While no amount of money will ever completely end homelessness in =
South=20
Sound, this dedicated funding should be a big help in reducing the sheer =
number=20
of homeless people.=20
<P>The latest countywide survey estimated the number of homeless people =
at 700,=20
with 56 percent males and 44 percent females.=20
<P>First things first. Local officials, homeless advocates and homeless =
people=20
need to work together on a plan that meets the requirements of the law.=20
<P>Again, without a plan by the end of the year, the county won't be =
eligible=20
for money.=20
<P>Thurston is among eight counties developing plans.=20
<P>Four others -- King, Pierce, Yakima and Whatcom counties -- have =
completed=20
theirs.=20
<P>The law does not restrict creative thinking. Each plan can be =
tailored to a=20
specific community's needs.=20
<P>Some of the projects and programs that could be included in a South =
Sound=20
strategy to reduce homelessness are:=20
<P>
<LI><B>Construction of transitional housing</B> to help people get back =
on their=20
feet and off the streets.=20
<P>In a survey of homeless people in Thurston County, the inability to =
pay rent=20
or a mortgage was given as the No. 1 reason for homelessness.=20
<P></P>
<LI><B>Expansion of programs </B>to deal with alcohol and drug abuse, =
family=20
counseling, medical care, job training and medical care.=20
<P>Family breakups, mental illness, drug or alcohol abuse and job loss =
were all=20
among the top five reasons homeless people said they were on the street. =

<P></P>
<LI><B>Programs that specifically target</B> young people.=20
<P>About 35 percent of the people identified as homeless in Thurston =
County are=20
age 21 or younger, including 105 people ages 18 to 21, 88 people ages 6 =
to 17,=20
and 56 people age 5 or younger.=20
<P>There always will be a certain percentage of the population that is =
homeless=20
in this society.=20
<P>An effective program would allow anyone who wants to get off the =
street do=20
just that.</P>
<P>&nbsp;</P>
<P><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
<P><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
<P><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>New Hampshire Homeless&nbsp; / Founded=20
11-28-99<BR>25 Granite Street<BR>Northfield,N.H. 03276-1640&nbsp;=20
USA<BR>Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human=20
rights.<BR>1-603-286-2492<BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.missingkids.com">http://www.missingkids.com</A><BR><A =

href=3D"http://www.nationalhomeless.org">http://www.nationalhomeless.org<=
/A><BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org">http://www.newhampshirehomel=
ess.org</A><BR></FONT></DIV></LI></BODY></HTML>

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