Homelessness will continue to grow in PT | Letter to the editor

Posted 9/8/21

In the last four years I’ve been forced to move five times as the rental prices shot through the ceiling. Those moving here are bringing with them everything they meant to escape. And a decade …

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Homelessness will continue to grow in PT | Letter to the editor

Posted

In the last four years I’ve been forced to move five times as the rental prices shot through the ceiling. Those moving here are bringing with them everything they meant to escape. And a decade of runaway realtor influence in city government has swung the doors so wide that there’s no longer dwellings to rent. I settled here in 1989 and now I’m banished outside the city gates.

Details to consider. In January 2020, Washington ranked third in the nation for the largest increase of homeless. Metropolitan Seattle currently ranks third in the nation for homelessness just below New York and Los Angeles.

The outlook is brutal. Even before coronavirus hit, more than 20 million Americans were behind in rent. An estimated 10 million to 20 million of us are expected to land in the streets when the national moratorium ends. Friends, this is barely the beginning.

A NIMBY policy is so precious. More importantly, why have so many of you with “spiritual values” done so little to help your community’s unfortunate? Port Townsend is not a Sunset magazine cover. Bring in all the upscale shops and high-end dining you wish, but the rest of the world will bring you a steady stream of the unfortunate and forgotten.

In November 2019, the county supervisors enacted a 47-page, five-year homeless housing plan. The years have passed. How’s that plan working? Ask a mother of three living under a tarp at the fairgrounds.

I’ll be in my 71st year in 2022. Will I be in a tent or living in my car? I only want to rent an affordable room.

If you’re mostly worried about property values as the Earth turns to plague, floods, and fire, how utterly sorry I am for you.

Gabby Hyman
PORT TOWNSEND

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