Mental illness and drug addiction are huge factors contributing to our homeless crisis, and could have played a role in the recent tent encampment shooting [“Death in Seattle’s Jungle: Two lives lost after long struggle with drugs,” Page One, Jan 29].
This tragedy brings to light an enormous problem that has been decades in the making. The underfunding of health, human services and housing over the past 40 years is the culprit.
But there is no easy fix.
It’s a complex problem that requires a monumental effort involving housing, health care, mental health, substance-abuse treatment and criminal justice.
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We should be outraged at the number of people living with mental illnesses and addiction in appalling conditions on our streets. There simply aren’t enough services to turn their lives around.
It’s not quick, and it’s not easy, but treatment does work. We have to make sure that everyone has the ability to get it. It should be a top funding priority.
Ken Taylor, Kent, CEO of Valley Cities Counseling