Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for April 10

Olympia looks for community’s help in creating long-term homeless response plan

Amy Buckler, Olympia's downtown programs manager, outlines how the city will go about creating a long-term homeless response plan.
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Amy Buckler, Olympia's downtown programs manager, outlines how the city will go about creating a long-term homeless response plan.

A 4-step approach to homelessness

As I see it, there should be a four-step approach to dealing with homelessness:

1. Housing. As the Health Care for the Homeless movement puts it, “housing is health care.” Housing is safety and security. Housing provides a stable launchpad from which people can get and keep a job, address mental illness and substance use, take care of their health and nutrition, and find purposeful role in the community.

Dividing the resource pie pits one group against another (singles vs. families vs. youth vs. veterans).

2. Services. While there is a universal recognition that housing is key, it is not self sufficient. Providing adequate housing without addressing physical health, behavioral health, employment and education, and other supports, will continue to result in instability and recurrent homelessness for many people.

3. Social connectedness. Now that I have a key to that house or apartment, now what? Moving into your own place for the first time may lead to loneliness, depression, and relapse. Oftentimes people will attempt suicide or go back to the streets where their friends are to cope. We must end the stigma of mental illness, substance use and abuse, homelessness and poverty.

4. Prevention. I am tired of the homeless industrial complex. I am tired of the homeless policy echo chamber. I am tired of focusing on down-range solutions that kick in once people have already slipped through our flimsy safety nets. We can never end homelessness by ending homelessness one person at a time.

Raymond H. Payne Jr., Lacey

Medicaid cunundrum

Seems my friend on Medicaid and post chemo is getting less quality of medical care because, as she puts it, she has the worse medical insurance coverage ever. That should not be acceptable in the United States.

When you are post chemo, you have lived with fighting cancer and once in remission you take oral chemo meds to control it. The EENT, the GI, the ED physician, the oncologist, your PCP do not have peer reviews on their most serious patients covered under Medicaid. That is unacceptable in a modern-day society.

Medicaid needs to revamp their system and provide the best care possible for the cancer patients they represent. No patient wants to hear from their health care provider that the reason the quality of care is not there is because you are on Medicaid. That is wrong and should be malpractice at best.

I worked in health care more than 20 years and no matter what insurance a patient received, I always treated all patients with dignity, compassion and adequate medical care. I do not like hearing from people how bad is the breakdown of medical treatment and care based on being on Medicaid. If that program is bad, there needs to be improvement.

Medicaid is there for a reason and not be subjected as the culprit in many ongoing medical patients’ care.

Does Medicaid need to be revamped? How is your medical care with Medicaid?

Ricky L. Johansen Jr., Lacey