Sunday, January 17, 2010

"Funny the way it is..."

I suppose I was going to start to  notice this type of thing more often anyway.  As my wife and I (and other busy Dads and Moms) were hustling their kids to ballet class at the YMCA, doggedly sorting through the dumpster in the parking lot was a member of the homeless; complete with shopping cart, multiple garbage sacks and some systematic technique for sorting through the trash. She was a middle-aged, alert women.  I thought about capturing a photograph as a walked to the steps going downstairs to the YMCA's lobby. But she caught my eyes and hid.

There are multiple organizations dealing with the issue of homelessness in Whatcom County. The best  way to get an overview of  "all things homeless in Whatcom County" is through the minutes of  The Whatcom County Coalition for the Homeless.  Currently, the coalition is busy preparing for the "Point-in-Time Count 2010" on January 28th. There have been numerous press articles on Whatcom County's homeless population of late. The Bellingham Herald has reported that "40 to 80 people come into the drop-in center each day" at 1013 W. Holly Street. The drop-in center is reportedly expanding it's hours in January.  The Seattle PI has posted a dynamic article by the Bellingham Herald's Jared Paben on the conflict between the homeless population of Bellingham and redevelopment.  The article, which quotes Paster Chuch Sargent, Lighthouse Executive director Ron Buchinski, and developers  Fred Bovenkamp and Ken Imus, exposes the conflict between urban development and social services in Old Town. You can view this  touching video on the issue of homelessness in Bellingham from Project Homeless Connect.  PHC Bellingham has a sparsely populated but interesting blog  and a Facebook  page on their project.

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