Help stop cuts to human services
November 17, 2009 · 2:34 PM
Next year can potentially be the worst year ever when it comes to providing needed health and human services to the Kent community and all of King County.
County Executive Kurt Triplett has proposed a 2010 budget that eliminates all funds for health and human services. If the County Council does not allocate funds we will be faced with a community disaster.
What will be eliminated: domestic violence shelters, senior centers, community health clinics, emergency food distribution, homeless shelters (adult and youth), services for victims of sexual assault, programs for at risk youth - and much more!
An example: seven community organizations in the Coalition of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Services would have to turn away at least 1,393 victims seeking their help. That means four victims a day for a whole year would not receive help.
Kent Youth and Family Services will not have these services to refer clients to.
Eliminating funding not only reduces needed services it destroys infrastructure that delivers these service. It is much more costly to rebuild a service program later (staff, relationships among providers, treatment knowledge, and outreach connections). When people don’t get needed services their problems only get worse and cost more in the future.
What is our moral responsibility to care for our neighbors? Our religious communities, service clubs and many individuals and families are helping as much as they can, even in economic hard times! I believe our government (King County in this case) has an obligation to help meet these needs. The county Vision says, “King County - Leading the region in shaping a better tomorrow.”
Their top two goals are:
“Promote the health, safety and well being of our communities.”
“Enrich the lives of our residents.”
By next Monday our elected King County Council leaders will adopt a budget. Please join me in e-mailing or calling your council representative and asking them to restore funding for these critical health and human services for the year 2010. This is a disaster than can be avoided! Act now.
Reagan Dunn: 206 296-1009, Reagan.Dunn@kingcounty.gov
Julia Patterson: 206 296-1005, Julia.Patterson@kingcounty.gov
Pete von Reichbauer: 206 296-1007, Pete.vonReichbauer@kingcounty.gov
King County Sexual Assault Resource Center