I worked for 20 years in King County as a Chemical Dependency Professional  (CDP) with the mental-health department for the recuperation of alcoholics and drug addicted persons, many of them homeless. Now I am retired.

Based on my experience, I  suggest to  legislators the creation of a homelessness department for an experimental period of  five years, then to be evaluated. The appropriation of more millions of dollars to build more “houses” to resolve more homeless problems is a  mistake repeated for more than 40 years because of a false diagnosis of “homeless.”

From my editions of “The American Heritage Dictionary of The English Language” and “The Webster’s New World Thesaurus”: “ ‘Homeless’  used with a singular verb is a person without a roof over his/her head, and is therefore a person without a house. However, used with a plural verb, ‘the homeless’ are a group that identify themselves with temporary or permanent causes (political, economic, religious or ideological …), which obliges them to remain in a disparaging inhuman situation that they don’t want and can’t get out of by themselves.”

Legislators could help resolve homelessness by providing appropriate legal tools to a new homelessness department.

Severino Perez, Seattle