Letter to the Editor: Permanent Supportive Housing Proposal Needed in Centralia

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Thank you for your coverage of the permanent supportive housing plan that is being proposed by Reliable Enterprises. I am so impressed that Reliable Enterprises has been able to garner an $8 million grant for this much needed project. The proposal, as stated in your article, seems well thought out. I am especially impressed that there will be counseling and classes for the residents, which will be geared toward helping them transition from a homeless situation to a stable living environment.

I spent 35 years as a teacher in the Centralia School District, and I have seen that children living in an unstable housing environment have a very difficult time achieving their best in school. When you are worried about where you will be sleeping next week, or if there will be food to eat over the weekend, things like reading your library book and working on multiplication facts become pretty irrelevant. A stable living environment is also important to a child's emotional well being. With Reliable Enterprise's proposal, we have a chance to help children and families in need of permanent supportive housing. How lucky are we that our community has been given this opportunity?

With that being said, I am extremely surprised and disappointed that more of the Centralia City Council were not in favor of providing the variance that this project needs to move forward. They seem to feel that the parking in Centralia is more important than helping families in need. Another worry seems to be that providing permanent supportive housing will attract homeless people to our town. However, in another Chronicle article concerning the Bezos Academy, it is stated that in Centralia "more than 90% of students are considered eligible for free or reduced price lunches."

Wake up, city council, we have plenty of Centralia families already living here that need our help! We need to address this problem, not ignore it. Kudos to Rebecca Staebler for having the sense and courage to support Reliable Enterprises and their proposed solution. Now, let's see the rest of the city council step up and do the right thing to help children and families in our community!

 

Sharon Miracle

Chehalis

Comments

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Michael Severance

If Reliable would concede to building garages for the proposed housing, I think the city council would go for it. Code is code, and to be honest, a garage would improve the quality of life for a lot of Reliable residents. The ideas Reliable propagates and what they actually do are two different things, that's why Brett Mitchell has a problem with going ahead and listening to them.

Sunday, May 2
Ray Chapman-Wilson

Wholeheartedly agree with this letter and recommendation for the supportive housing. I do hope city council members review their stance and come along with the rest of us to support and allow this important need for our community.

Monday, May 3
Matt Evans

Well said Sharon! As a former teacher in Centralia, you know better than anyone about the need that exists out there to help vulnerable kids and families overall. I wholeheartedly agree with you.

I believe the city can authorize an exemption specific to a project without changing the overall code; which seems to be the worry of several of the city counselors. This project is fully funded and deals with specific issues concerning our community (along with many other communities in the same boat).

Reliable has a proven track record working in our community to make a significant impact on at risk individuals and improve our community overall. There are families in need and children at risk that Reliable has both identified and done the work to secure funding in order to provide a solution for. They are willing to do the VERY hard work of addressing homelessness in our community. I think Mr. Mitchell along with Cole Meckle should be commended, supported and emulated in our community. It is the moral obligation of a community to support the vulnerable in its population and Reliable is doing it without asking for financial help from this community. Our city council should be thanking them and removing obstacles for taking this on.

It is a no-brainer to support this project. It costs the city nothing, addresses the issues of homelessness in our community (which has a cost to the community when not addressed); it will also change lives. The project dovetails in perfectly with the potential Bezos Academy project at the United Learning center the council got 100% behind in their memorandum of understanding.

Make sure to get in contact with our city counselors in regards to this issue and encourage them to think about this project positively. Like Sharon said; this is not about changing the cities parking ordinance; it is about reducing poverty and making our community a better place for everyone.

Monday, May 3