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Let’s use McNeil Island for drug rehab and mental health care
We are paying for McNeil Island for a very small population. I believe the homeless population can be broken down into two main subsets: the people who are homeless because of economics and the people who are homeless because of drugs/alcohol and/or mental disorders. Those who are homeless because of economics get lost in the shuffle.
My suggestion would be to use McNeil Island as a drug rehab and a mental health facility. In using McNeil Island, we can focus our help on those that need rehab or mental assistance, and being on an island makes it more probable that they will receive the help they need.
By separating the two homeless populations, both could have a more concentrated approach to resolving the problem — allowing those experiencing economic hardships to receive the attention they also need.
I am sure we can all agree the approach we have used to date has cost tremendous amounts of money with little to no results.
Praise for Evergreen’s Gateways for Youth program
It was good to see George Bridges’ Local Viewpoint column April 26 on the work of JJ Jackson, who was just honored with a Civic Leadership Award. JJ has extended himself in very meaningful ways – offering himself as a guide to incarcerated youth who want to learn about college pathways.
The one thing that the column was missing was some key background on how students like JJ are part of a larger project at The Evergreen State College. Gateways was launched in 1996 to support incarcerated youth through the efforts of college staff, faculty and students. Through shared seminars, mentoring and collaborative learning, incarcerated youth learn along with college students and start to design positive futures.
Gateways is a distinctive, path-breaking program that supports young people facing very difficult odds. You can learn more about the program at www.evergreen.edu/gateways. Gateways is a project of the college’s Center for Community-based Learning & Action.