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Want to end homelessness? Start with getting people into recovery

James Randall joined the Army at 18, was deployed to the Middle East and came home an alcoholic.

His addiction led to his being discharged not only from the Army, but into the streets. He was homeless for two years, sometimes in a drug-induced psychosis, and was arrested more than 20 times. After his last arrest, he chose to go to King County Regional Veterans Court, which required that he be in treatment.

 “It had to be my choice,” Randall said of going into treatment. “But the resources had to be offered.”

That should give all of us pause. We are a city in crisis, and are raising millions upon millions of dollars to “end homelessness.”

But I worry that our focus is too much on buildings — and not enough on rebuilding the addicted lives that lie shattered before us on sidewalks, overpasses and shelters. Read more here.

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