Tuesday Dec. 13 was the coldest day of the season in Pierce County so far. Our neighbors without a place to live struggle every night out in the elements, and nights like this are especially difficult.
Many are out there because they’re challenged by a mental illness. Some are veterans, trying to cope with PTSD or a traumatic brain injury.
Also Tuesday night, the Pierce County Council had an opportunity to bring some of those folks in from the cold by approving a one-tenth of 1 percent sales tax that would facilitate mental health and chemical dependency services to help get them housed. All other Washington counties on the I-5 corridor have instituted this fund.
The council heard testimony in strong support of this measure from emergency service providers as well as the general public. They saw evidence of the need from a year of study. They heard proposed solutions to this complex issue. And yet council members Roach, McCune and McDonald chose to ignore their neighbors and leave them outside.
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It was a cold night indeed.