The City of Centralia hosted the first of several homelessness workshop at city hall this week, featuring a a presentation from Director of Lewis County Public Health and Social Services (LCPHSS) J.P. Anderson and County Manager Erik Martin.
Under the requirements of the Homelessness Housing and Assistance Act (Ch. 43.185C RCW) and in order to qualify for funding sources, jurisdictions must complete a plan to address homelessness in their communities. Specifically, plans are required at the county level, which takes the lead on the programs and involves a cooperative plan between city and county governments together with local nonprofits, businesses and faith communities.
Judging by the number of people that are here then they probably agree with us that this is a top issue not only in our community but throughout Lewis County and really throughout the state of Washington. This workshop was an opportunity to hear the County’s plan- the next workshops will drill down into the details and include more community participation.Peter Abbarno, Centralia Mayor Pro Tem and Candidate for State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District
More than 50 people filled the council chambers at Centralia City Hall; leaving standing room only. Representatives from other municipalities, social and health organizations, providers, and faith based community members attended the meeting. See Chronicle Article.
Homelessness is a result of many causes, I think we all recognize that — substance abuse, mental illness, traumatic experiences, loss of a job, life choice — all of these things are involved in the result of homelessness and that’s what makes it so difficult to find solutions. Our community has ‘talked’ quite a lot about these issues. I wanted to hear the County’s plan, determine where we all fit in, and start seeing some action.Peter Abbarno, Centralia Mayor Pro Tem and Candidate for State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District
The city council brought up the need for building more, not just affordable housing, but all types of housing which will, in turn, free up housing for people of all income levels since the city’s housing availability is currently at less than one percent.
The Centralia City Council will be announcing future workshops.