Conversation continues about local homelessness, affordable housing

These are not just big city problems.

Calvary Presbyterian’s Pastor Lynell Caudillo.

Calvary Presbyterian’s Pastor Lynell Caudillo.

Sixty concerned citizens participated in a community conversation on homelessness and the need for affordable housing in Enumclaw at Calvary Presbyterian Church on Oct. 26. The public meeting was attended by people affiliated with Plateau Outreach Ministries, Rainier Foothills Wellness Foundation, Green River Community College, Rotary Club, the local VFW, city administration and at least four churches involved with social services, as well as individuals who just wanted to know more about the topic.

“Homelessness and lack of affordable housing are more visible problems in Seattle, Tacoma and the bigger cities in our area. But those ‘big city problems’ need to be addressed in Enumclaw, too,” said Calvary Pastor Lynell Caudillo, who moderated the event.

Volunteers and a resident from White River Senior Housing in Buckley talked about their subsidized senior housing. Michelle Frets, executive director of Vine Maple Place in Maple Valley, gave a presentation on her organization’s housing and social services geared to single parents and children.

The two presentations sparked small group discussions about the nature of homelessness in Enumclaw and the fact that the number of people “sleeping out” is no indicator of the extent of the problem.

Attendees cited “hidden” examples of the dearth of affordable housing in Enumclaw: teachers and nurses unable to afford rent, children and parents sleeping in cars or on friends’ couches, seniors and others on fixed incomes cutting back on other living expenses to pay rising apartment and mobile home park rents.

Caudillo said she hoped this would be an opening discussion that would continue and include more people and agencies willing to work together to address the issues discussed and to find better ways to unify services for people in need of housing.

The conversation about “next steps” was continued at a noontime gathering Tuesday, Nov. 19, at Calvary Presbyterian.

This article was submitted by Kathryn Reid. For more about this topic, contact Lynell Caudillo at 360-825-3820 or

More in Life

What is medical bias, and what can health care do about it? | MultiCare

Implicit or unconscious bias is prevalent in the medical field.

It’s not too late to vaccinate | Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department

Last week was National Influenza Vaccination Week, but you can still get vaccinated now.

The state of HIV in King County | Public Health Insider

The county wants to achieve the WHO’s 90:90:90 goal.

Giving Trees, Cops for Kids can make the season brighter for local children

Find out how you can help brighten up someone’s Christmas.

At a glance | December Calendar

Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild fundraiser, Historical Society Bazaar, felt crafting classes, and more.

Opening the conversation about opioids and older adults | Public Health Insider

1 in 3 Medicare Part D beneficiaries received a prescription opioid in 2016.

Buckley vet recognized by head of Vietnam Memorial Commission

When he came back from overseas, Ray Uebler felt he shouldn’t tell anybody about his service. Times have changed.

A day in the life of a Civil War soldier, Part II

Theodore Hill Jr. is now in the hands of Confederate soldiers.

Winter events and activities during the holiday season

Visits from Santa and tree lighting to wine walks and chocolate — the Plateau has it all.

How to manage holiday stress and depression | MultiCare Health System

The holidays can be stressful — know the signs of when you or a loved one needs a little extra support.

Family finishes Tour du Mont Blanc

The Tour is a 110-mile hike through multiple European counties.