Fighting homelessness begins with compassion | Editor’s note

It is possible to make homelessness rare, brief and one-time in King County – including Tukwila – the goal of All Home, which once was called the Committee to End Homelessness.

Is it possible to end homelessness?

Probably not. But that’s only because there is only so much political will and homelessness is the result of so many economic and social ills that will always vex even the most modern of societies.

But is it possible to make homelessness rare, brief and one-time in King County – including Tukwila – the goal of All Home, which once was called the Committee to End Homelessness?

Yes it is, with the political will that we have available to us and redistributing the will that today goes to merely advance political agendas or to some great public edifice.

There is no doubt that homelessness is everywhere.

There are many people of all backgrounds and professions in Tukwila who are working tirelessly to help Tukwila residents get off  the streets or more likely to help them stabilize the housing they already have. It’s an imperative, because home- lessness and poverty are holding back hundreds of Tukwila residents from fulfilling even the most basic American Dream – a roof over their heads and enough money to feed themselves without a trip to the food bank.

If you need inspiration to join them or contribute to their cause, just look at Tavaesina Maiava and her family, the “faces” of this month’s cover story on homelessness in Tukwila. June is a big month for them; Tavaesina is graduating from Foster High School, an achievement she credits to her own hard work and the support of her family.

The Maiavas are an amazing family, who through all their hard times are ensuring that their children are getting an education so that what happened to them will never happen again to anyone in their family.

The city of Tukwila’s Office of Human Services is targeting our tax dollars to provide rent and utility assistance and to support other organizations that actually put a roof over someone’s head. At budget time, the office’s needs – really, the people’s needs – should be considered carefully and with heart.

Sure, every city department has its needs, but there’s nothing more important than investing in our neighbors.

There’s also something within all our reach to do to help our families and it has nothing to do with money but is all about fear.

Please, if you can, set aside the occasionally heard fear that helping those who are down on their luck will make the Seattle area a magnet for others who for whatever reason need a helping hand.

We’ve all made bad decisions; homelessness is a lost paycheck or a devastating illness away. So please show compassion.

Everyone deserves a happy healthy life.

Dean A. Radford can be reached at


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