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The Trump administration weakens banking regulations; and events this weekend mark the 400th anniversary of slavery in the United States. (Broadcaster Note: Our 6-min. newscast now has an optional outcue at 3 minutes: “This is PNS.”)

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Housing Advocates Say "Home" Means More than "Shelter"

January 31, 2007


At any given time, 20,000 people in Washington are living on the streets. This week, the governor announced a $10 million state grant to fight homelessness, but that's only about one-third of what is necessary. Tomorrow housing advocates converge on the Legislature for "Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day" in Olympia.

Washington's homeless may be mental patients, substance abusers, or just out of jail, but all are vulnerable and housing advocates say they'll be back on the streets without support services that, along with housing, provide longer-term solutions. Bill Block of the Committee to End Homelessness in King County says these types of services also save taxpayers' dollars.

"For example, the average stay of a prisoner in the King County Jail is 18 days, and the average stay of a mentally ill prisoner is 156. The mental illness floor costs $300 a night.

For Block the good news is that every county in the state has a plan to end homelessness. But funds are running short, and the latest $10 million state grant is only about one-third of what housing advocates are asking for this week in Olympia.

"The last 'point-in-time count' counted over 20,000 people homeless in the State of Washington at any given time, and the estimate is that three times that number experience homelessness in the course of a year."

Thursday, Feb. 1 is "Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day" for the Washington Legislature. It begins at 8:30 AM at United Churches of Olympia, 111 Eleventh Avenue SE in Olympia, and ends with a rally on the Statehouse steps at 10:45 AM. The event is being organized by the Washington Low-Income Housing Alliance.

Chris Thomas/Jamie Folsom, Public News Service - WA