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The Buzz on the Streets

The 47th District: Issues, Insight & Interaction

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January 18th, 2012 at Wed, 18th, 2012 at 3:56 pm by lesliehamada


Pat Gray--the founder of KentHope address the Council



I read an article a while ago that we have to change the way we are doing government in this State with unfunded legislation or unfunded mandates. We have all witnessed issues where great legislation and ideas are put into legislation with little or no funding to back-up the wonderful ideas or really make a difference to change the issue or the main reason why this legislation seemed important to pass in the beginning. When we were a prospering economy we seemed to sometimes work with these unfunded mandates but in more challenging times and slower growth the author was telling us the way we do business has to change. I thought the article had merit. I think when elected officials see a proposal placed in front of them that demonstrates this fiscal responsibility they need to wake up and take note that here are people in our community that have a well thought out idea to help our community and not only are they pointing out safety nets that have been removed but they have found a way to come together as a community—many organizations and non-profits and churches do make a difference in these issues. The icing on the Cake—they have a way to pay for it and it does not include raising the budget restraints of any government entity.

A month ago I attended a meeting for the South King County Human Services Alliances on the exhausting spiraling downward of our human services budgets to many agencies and the State of such a growing need in that area more than ever. A fact that they had done extensive research on was that if you put all the charities, non-profits, and church giving into a pot it will never be enough to make up the safety net that is needed in Human Services. It was around 20% with government from the beginning of time—contributing the most to the balance needed for human services. So we as a country are never going to be able to end government in the Human Service Business—to balance our budgets that are in such grave problems today. If that comes about it is a society I do not believe that would have a good future of any kind. If you study other countries the one fact that rarely comes out when they are toting their great strides in education or industry is the large amount these countries pour into human services to help get their other statistics to where they are today.

Chris Gough, Union Gospel Mission addresses the KentHope Proposal, Rev. Leslie Braxton, New Beginnings Church waits to speak

Last night at the Kent City Council, a group of churches, non-profits, and charities came together to discuss how they have been working in the last few months on a proposal to help address the great need for a Day Center for the Homeless of our Community. The Council Chambers room was full of supporters of this Day Center that came out to show the council they were there to roll up their sleeves and support this Proposal on one of the worst night’s of the year to be out in Kent. When they were asked to stand for a brief moment to show their support—it was moving to see people from many walks of life there to support all the citizens of our community even those down on their luck temporarily. We have all been there in one shape or form—where we need help emotionally, spiritually, financially, or physically. The Day Center would provide a place to help people get into the services they need such as housing, employment, medical or mental services, and much more just a place of rest for people to feel they are part of the Community. In places that are well run for a Day Center or night shelter—statistics show crime goes down and it can actually contribute over a period of time to those costs that run when the homeless issues reach a crisis. If a person gets help with a medical issue upfront the emergency room costs to us all go down.

The City has a building that they own that would work perfect for this Day Center. The Proposal costs the City nothing. The liability and staffing and maintenance are covered by KentHope. This building has sat empty for 2 years and the prospect of selling at this point in time does not seem to be a smart business venture for the City even if—they could find a buyer. This proposal seems to be a really great addition to Kent in its Human Service capability, in reducing crime, in including a model of a City that cares about all its citizens. It is a perfect model to build a Healthy Community and has already demonstrated by its widespread support that it brings the community together to do good.





Dwight Jackson, Catholic Community Services Speaks







Roland Bradley, New Beginnings Church speaks to the Council



Rev. Jimmie James speaks to the history of needed Day Center for Homeless

Leslie is a wife, mother, & grandmother. She has worked in marketing, communications, & writing professionally. For the past 17 years she has resided in the Covington area and doing volunteer work in the King County Area. While her children attended University Place Schools she was actively involved in youth activities and PTA. She was in executive leadership in the organization as President in school PTA on all levels. In addition she held a District PTA leadership position. Currently her youngest child Lisa is a teacher and last year was recognized as NASPE 2009 High School Physical Education Teacher of the Nation. Her two sons are employed in Computer and engineer firms. She has two beautiful grandchildren. Leslie's pride & joy is Pee Wee Hamada her stay at home Cocker spaniel and her inspiration for her first Children's Book: "Pee Wee's Adventure In the Woods" which addresses boundaries for young children and safety issues through an exciting animal book. Leslie has been actively involved in her Community volunteering for over 40 years. She has mentored in high risk elementary schools since college. Presently she is Director for emergency services for her church Kent United Methodist. She is Chair of the Kent Ecumenical Network Board. It is her sixth year on Catholic Community Advocacy Board. She received an award last year from Governor Gregoire for work with felons. This past year she was recognized for work in social justice and poverty by the South King County Human Service Commission. Last year she received an award from the Southern Sudanese Organization in Seattle. In 2005 she received the SKC Award for the Spirit of Caring. In 2005 she traveled to San Francisco to work at the Soup Kitchen of Glide Memorial and help with immigrant Chinese pre-school students at Gum Moon Community. Her passion is working with kids and social justice issues. Presently she is working to start a Kids Boxing Program in the Kent East Hill area to give the kids a great after school program.

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