LETTER: Homeless encampments no simple issue

As Seattle is displaying, complications arise, and solutions can present themselves only with commitment.

Hopefully, the Port Townsend City Council will create code that enables tent villages in which homeless people can exist.

People who work with this issue weekly, like the Port Townsend police, see the need for structured camps and expect the number of homeless people here to increase.

This is of course a national issue and, as Seattle is showing, complex and difficult to address. Everybody deserves shelter. Everybody.

Seattle is showing the kind of political courage I’m hoping Port Townsend can emulate, which involves taking risks and making mistakes, learning from them and moving on.

It would make more sense for Port Townsend to learn from the Affordable Housing Action Group-sponsored homeless camp at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds than to dismiss the camp, as your interview with Councilman Bob Gray seems to suggest he has.

Realistically, Port Townsend code enabling tent villages will proceed from city commitment to addressing this complex of issues and the concomitant policies and resources.

The poor, the homeless, face daily struggles and stresses us more fortunate do not. So they sometimes, some of them, do not behave like prim middle-class people. They may get unruly.

Our policies should acknowledge this and simultaneously accept these folks as our poor, our neighbors, our responsibility.

Frank Hoffman,

Port Townsend

More in Opinion

PAT NEAL: The first salmon

THE BLOOMING OF the salmonberries marks a change in the season. In… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: Spill some salmon here

IT WAS ANOTHER tough week in the news. The bad news was… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: The daylight digs

THE END OF steelhead fishing season was the day my universe came… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: Twilight forever and ever

THERE’S A DISTURBING trend in modern journalism for reporters to use fleeting… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: A question of flowers

THANK YOU FOR reading this. Sometimes I think that if you didn’t… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: The de-extinction of the 100-pound salmon

Who says there’s no good news? Recently scientists claimed they are on… Continue reading

Derek Kilmer
POINT OF VIEW: Your neighbors are fighting for a stronger local economy

GROWING UP IN Port Angeles, the hum of mills was more than… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: Smells like spring fever

THERE MAY BE nothing more beautiful than pussywillows in the snow. Unless… Continue reading

LETTER: There he goes again

Last Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced that his administration was once again… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: To build a fire

Camping isn’t just for summer anymore. The woods, beaches and campgrounds are… Continue reading

ron allen
POINT OF VIEW: Good stewardship for future generations

IT IS A tribal saying that “Every River Has Its People” and… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: Fishing from a sinking boat

It was another tough week in the news. Steelhead fishing on the… Continue reading