Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: homelessness


ERIC RENZ: His death leaves a huge vacuum

Re: “Renz helped those in need, and they helped him” (TNT, 12-11).

Eric Renz had an unassuming nature. Yet when he spoke, people listened because he operated from the position of the collective good.

I initially met Eric during the recall effort (of former Pierce County Assessor Dale Washam). A week before his accident, I reconnected with him over coffee to talk about his work with Puyallup homeless citizens.

While he didn’t mention his volunteerism, I knew that he spent most afternoons at the New Hope Center and heavily supported Freezing Nights. He believed all people have value, regardless

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TACOMA: Strike a better balance for homeless

Every morning I walk around Wright Park and notice homeless people who have camped there for the night. Their numbers are growing and so are the eyesores. Surely we can strike a balance between upholding the dignity of the homeless and reining in their collateral possessions and makeshift tents.

I suspect some of these people have PTSD, and sleeping in the park affords them a sense of freedom from the pressure of being in too close contact with other people. They probably feel safe camping in this park.

I believe more shelters need to be designed with respect to their needs

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HOMELESS: County still has a long way to go

Nov. 17-23 is the 30th National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Pierce County has made great improvements in resources and housing for the most vulnerable segment of our population. However, as a community, we have a long trek ahead of us to end homelessness.

Most recent counts indicate that on any given night, there are 1,997 homeless adults and children in Pierce County. While this is a great decrease compared to years past, we are still struggling to provide basic services to people experiencing homelessness in our community.

We have combat veterans sleeping in their cars, teenagers squatting in abandoned

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TACOMA: Offenders need places to live, too

Re: “Program could boost housing for offenders” (TNT, 4-17).

Offenders being released have served their time in prison, whether it may be two years or 10. For whatever reason they were imprisoned, they received their punishment.

Offenders will always be released from prison sooner or later. So what if their family doesn’t take them in? What if they have nowhere else to stay? Wouldn’t this result in increased rates of homelessness?

Tacoma’s 18-month pilot project to house offenders is a wonderful opportunity for offenders to show they are like anyone else, they just made mistakes in their past. This

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BUDGET: Senate plan would hurt needy people

The state Senate operating and capital budgets proposed in the past two weeks would cut housing, health care and child care for vulnerable citizens in these ways:

• Eliminating the Aged, Blind and Disabled program.

• Cutting state homelessness programs by 52 percent.

• Increasing the number of people experiencing homelessness during the 2013-2015 biennium by 20,400 more people.

• Drastically cutting a variety of safety net programs like Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and Working Connections Child Care.

• Significantly cutting the Housing Trust Fund

While an education-focused budget for K-12 and higher education will help solve many of

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PUYALLUP: Program attracts homeless to city

Re: “Feeling of safety isn’t there anymore” (letter, 4-4).

What the writer experienced is becoming a normal occurrence in Puyallup. My neighborhood has also been impacted in this manner.

A primary source of this issue is a church-led volunteer group that sponsors a program called Freezing Nights (FN). This program allows homeless folks to spend the night in local churches between November and the end of March.

On the surface this sounds like a good program concept. Unfortunately the FN program has few if any requirements for entry.

FN clients can be stoned or drunk and gain access for

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HOMELESSNESS: Many are just a step away

In our current economic state, we are all feeling the financial pressure. Prices of everyday goods are on the rise and many of us are facing looming layoffs.

What will your plans be if finances become so tight you can no longer afford your home? Many have had to face the realities of this question. For many reasons, there are currently more than 2,000 people experiencing homelessness in Pierce County, including husbands, wives, children, the elderly, and the working poor.

The vast majority of us (some may say the 99 percent) are just one small step away from being in the

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PUYALLUP: Too many young people are homeless

I volunteer at Helping Hand House in Puyallup. One of the benefits is becoming more aware of homeless families. I learned two alarming statistics: The average age of a homeless person is 6, and there are about 500 homeless teenagers in Puyallup. That is nearly an entire grade in each of Puyallup’s three high schools. These young adults are our future leaders, and they’re not maturing at home.

What are we doing about this problem? Apparently nothing.

Why? What have these young adults done that is so bad that their parents will not let them live at home? Parents should

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