Aberdeen council to discuss potential homeless shelter project

Homeless committee has weighed pros and cons of applying for funds

The city of Aberdeen will hold a workshop on homelessness at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20 to facilitate discussion between city council members and the city’s homeless response committee.

The workshop will take place in the city council chambers on the third floor of Aberdeen City Hall.

The discussion comes shortly after Grays Harbor County opened the application period for $500,000 on the table for the purchase of a permanent homeless shelter building.

Homeless response committee chair Debi Pieraccini said at a March 13 city council meeting that the committee had “weighed the pros and cons of applying for the funds” at its last meeting and wanted to schedule a workshop “so that we can talk about homelessness and it won’t just be with the committee but with the whole council.”

If it chooses to do so, the city would have until April 30 to apply for the funds.

Aberdeen City Administrator Ruth Clemens indicated to the Grays Harbor County Board of Commissioners last month that the city was interested in applying, and urged commissioners to open the application period in a timely fashion so the city could pursue other funds through the state Legislature to help with the shelter project.

Pieraccini said last week that the Legislature earmarked $20 million to go toward homelessness with 30% devoted to rural communities.

“Mayor Orr and I sent a letter to the budget writers asking for this very increase and to assure that a portion of the funds were set aside for rural communities, because we are ignored. Our legislatures are hearing us and they’re backing us up with support and funding,” she said.

Contact reporter Clayton Franke at 406-552-3917 or clayton.franke@thedailyworld.com.