Critics of temporary housing make wild claims | Letter to the editor

Posted 5/22/22

Last week the Leader published two angry letters speaking out against the county’s proposed Temporary Housing Facilities Ordinance.

Both made some pretty wild claims, such as the ordinance …

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Critics of temporary housing make wild claims | Letter to the editor

Posted

Last week the Leader published two angry letters speaking out against the county’s proposed Temporary Housing Facilities Ordinance.

Both made some pretty wild claims, such as the ordinance allowing “unlimited ... drug camps” and abetting “a homeless hub for hire.” None of this is proven.

What is proven is that transitional housing on the village model works. It works to move people off the streets and into permanent housing, leading to a decrease in the number of homeless. You would think then that if people were truly concerned about the number of homeless, they would support the ordinance. Moreover, tiny shelter villages make good neighbors.

Peter’s Place, the tiny shelter village in Port Hadlock, started operation in December 2020. In the 18 months since then, there has been NO incidences requiring police intervention. 

The same goes for Pat’s Place in Port Townsend. 

In fact, Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Nole, in a May 2022 letter of support, writes, “From a law enforcement perspective, we have had extremely minimal contact with the residents of Peter’s Place. Less contact than we have with the general public. ... Pat’s Place and Peter’s Place serve a very necessary function by providing safe and secure residences for those in need.” 

I will add that they also provide structure and support. All this is accounted for in the ordinance.

As for being in it for the money, what of the more than 150 volunteers who built and donated the funds for the tiny shelters? 

What costs the public is unfounded accusations that the ordinance will unleash “the mentally ill, addicts, and criminals” on us, when the evidence proves otherwise. 

This ordinance removes unnecessary and costly barriers to solving a societal challenge. Without the framework the ordinance provides, we have no answers and that is what truly costs us.

Viki Sonntag
PORT TOWNSEND

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  • Thomas Camfield

    "This ordinance removes unnecessary and costly barriers to solving a societal challenge. Without the framework the ordinance provides, we have no answers and that is what truly costs us."

    That sums it up well—and describes the direction in which we should be applying ourselves. Nothing is gained by finding imaginary fault with time, effort and expense donated to others in need. We should not encourage a "me only" society.

    Wednesday, June 1 Report this