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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 19, 2008 at 4:28 PM

King County budget

Someday it may be you

Recently, King County Executive Ron Sims announced a proposal for the King County budget that includes large cuts in human-services funding.

While I realize we are facing a potential budget shortfall due to the downturn in the economy, human-services funding is exactly the wrong area to make cuts.

When times are tough, the people who rely on services like food programs, in-home care for the elderly or disabled and county-funded charities need help even more.

Not only is it altruistic to aid these vulnerable people; on a purely financial basis it is cheaper to keep them comfortable in their own homes instead of ending up in demoralizing group homes or even on the street where more expensive emergency programs will have to take care of them.

Contact Sims and the King County Council and tell them not to cut aid to the most vulnerable members of our society.

Someday it may be you or your relatives that need these programs.

— Scott M. Taylor, Seattle

Cuts will destroy human services

I wish people would recognize that cutting human-service programs results in expensive consequences [“Who will fall victim to cuts? news, Oct. 13].

If there are not support systems for citizens, rates of substance abuse, mental illnesses and crime rates will increase. Emergency rooms will become overcrowded, jails will become full, more people will die of unnecessary illnesses that millions of dollars on research is being spent to prevent, and children will not excel academically.

Cutting funds to human services guarantees a weakened society. It will not provide individuals with support systems to develop skills ensuring they keep up with a rapidly changing world.

If it weren’t for human-service agencies that helped me when I became homeless, I would not be where I am today with a home, a job and a degree.

A community should be built focused on what individuals need to be healthy emotionally, physically, cognitively, socially and spiritually. This will allow for a stable society.

— Pam LaVergne, Lynnwood

Comments | More in Economy, King County, King County Council

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