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Shelton Mason County Journal
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Mason County Journal
News of Mason County, WA
January 2, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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January 2, 2014

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Survey: 'Bad' behavior hurts Shelton businesses By GORDON WEEKS gordon@masoncoun.com Eighty percent of recently surveyed Shelton business own- ers say their customers "deal with poverty," and 60 percent believe "bad" and "unwanted" behaviors such as dumpstor div- ing and public urination harm their business. In a second survey, also con- ducted by the city-appointed poverty task force, half of the 174 people who use food banks and meal-feeding services say they've lived in Shelton for 11 years or more. Fifty-six percent live in permanent housing, 19 percent say they are in transi- tional housing, which includes the homes of friends and family members; 18 percent are home- less, living in the streets or in the woods; and 7 percent say they live in makeshift homes, including vehicles. Simultaneously, the surveys show no correlation exists be- tween poverty and "bad behav- ior r in Shelton, task force chair- man Jim Morrell told the Shel- ton City Commission during its Dec. 16 regular meeting. Those are among the find- ings of the surveys conducted by the nine-member poverty task force, formed by the city in July. The task force used the survey figures and other data in formu- lating 23 recommendations on mitigating the effects of poverty in Shelton. The recommendations in- chide forming a city-citizen pov- erty committee to follow up on the recommendations, develop- ing a "one-stop-shop" for social services, adding public rest- rooms and focusing on youths Journal photo by Gordon Weeks This homeless encampment sits in the woods just outside downtown Shelton. A city-appointed poverty task force is considering a recent survey's figures when developing 23 recommendations on mitigating the effects of poverty. to reduce generational poverty. The three members of the Shel- ton City Commission are now considering the recommenda- tions and data findings before offering direction to city staff. The social services survey targeted people who used ser- vices provided by Community Lifeline, Saint's Pantry Food Bank and the Community Kitchen between Sept. 5 and Nov. 7. Of the 174, respondents, 55 percent are male, 45 per- cent female. Almost half -- 46 percent -- are age 50 years or . older. Seventy-eight percent are single and 22 percent are mar- ried, although many were sepa- rated at the time of the survey. Of the 168 respondents who an- swered the question, 74 percent said they do not have dependent children -- which means 26 per- cent of the respondents have children who also are living in poverty. Fifty-five percent who re- sponded to the question said they have a "disability." A little more than 40 percent earned a high school diploma or GED. When asked about the ser- vices they use, 87 percent said they use food banks or the Supplemental Nutritional As- sistance Program, 24 percent use medical and counseling services, and 19 percent have Social Security. Five percent said they use no services. Four- teen percent are employed, and eight are in school. Sixteen per- cent said they have construe- tion skills, the same percentage of respondents who have skills and training in medical, dental or mental health. Of the 174 business respon- dents, 50 percent are business owners, seven percent are prop- erty owners and 33 percent are both. As for the location of their business, 77 percent are in downtown Shelton, 17 percent are on Olympic Highway North, and 3 percent are on Olympic Highway South. Asked to identify their types of businesses, 19 percent stated professional office, 17 percent are nonprofit organizations, 15 percent are retail, 13 percent are restaurants and 8 percent are "other" businesses. Only 50 business owners answered the question about how they "cross paths with the impacts of poverty." Of those, 80 percent say their customers deal with poverty, and 66 per- cent say they deal with the ef- fects of poverty outside of their businesses. In the multiple choice option on how often they "come across poverty," 72 per- cent answered "daily." Asked to describe how they perceive the effects of poverty on their businesses, 60 percent cited "bad" and "unwanted" behaviors such as drug and al- cohol abuse, littering, graffiti, urinating in alleys, dumpster diving, loitering, panhandling, and harassing employees and customers for free food, change or cigarettes. Placing second on that sur- vey question was financial im- pact at 14 percent. "What is clear from the re- sponses is that impacts seemed more to do with bad behavior than specifically poverty related issues," the task force report states. When asked what actions or policies might be helpful in mit- igating the effects of poverty on their business, almost 25 per- cent suggested jobs and train- ing programs; 15.5 percent said increasing law enforcement and regulations; 12.4 percent mentioned conversations, col- laborations and awareness; 11.3 percent said medical and mental health programs; 9.3 percent said expanding and im- proving the downtown; and 8.2 percent said improving housing and providing more shelter op- tions. For a look at all the findings and the recommendations, go to the city's websito at www. ci.shelton.wa.us. Go to the pov- erty task force information page and click on "final report and appendices." BRIEFS Continued from page A-6 Wanted: Habitat for Humanity families for 2014 Habitat for Humanity of Mason County is accepting applications for families for homes being built in 2014. The homes are sold to partner families at no profit, and are financed through low-interest or no-interest loans. To be eligible, the family must have lived in Mason County for at least one year; be willing to partner with Habitat for Humanity; have a steady gross income of 30 percent to 60 percent of the current median for Mason County; be willing to work 400 hours of "sweat equity" as a down payment toward the new home; and be in need of a safe living environment. For an application or to get more information, call Habitat for Humanity of Mason County at 426-8134. Compiled by reporter Gordon Weeks Tao Late te C00assif00 YOUR DREAM Come True on Hood Canal .Waterfront studio on Beautiful Hood Canal! Spacious 650 sq. ft., has its own private Ja- cuzzi and wood-burning stove. Qui-et, homelike, rural atmosphere. Walk-in closet. Affordable: $765 furnished or unfurnished. Look at all the Freebies: Free broadband internet. Free Dish TV with hun- dreds of channels. Free laundry on site. Free wa- ter, garbage, parking. Right on uncongested Hwy 101 -- easy commute to Shel- ton, Olympia, Bremerton. For pix of this paradise on earth, check out hoodca- nalshan-gri-la.com. Clams, Shelton's new commissioner oysters and HBO -- could you ask for anything more? You can wake up now be- cause THIS paradise is here and now. It's ALL true! For more info call (360) 877-5501. TFN MC 1-2-14 NEWYEAR Special: remod- eled, lovely 1 bedroom/bath home in quiet family park, Journal photo by Gordon Weeks walking distance to town. Perfect for retiree. Move-in ready. $12k financing avai- la-ble. Must see! call today 360-250-9677. G 1-2/1-23. We have expanded our Electronic Cigarette selection - Stop by for your Vaping needs! We offer :. Two Peas in a Pod Ejuice VapPuro Ejuice Kanger Tech Ismoka Itaste Vivi Nova Pax Try Ejuice before you buy! Over 50 flavors to choose from. 5881 E State Route 3 Shelton, WA 98584 360-426-3671 COVERED MOBILE home Mt. View area. 2 bedroom fenced yard. New carpet no smoking, no pets! $650 month. 426-3557.TFN L 1-2 Tracy Moore is sworn in as the new member of the Shelton City Commission by Mason County Supe- rior Court Judge Amber Finlay at the commission's study session Monday. The room was filled with spectators for the afternoon meeting, which also featured Shelton Municipal Court Judge George A. Steele taking the oath for another term. Moore re- places Dawn Pannell, who served on the commis- sion for 12 years. Pannell wished her replacement luck. "1 think you'll do a good job," she told Moore. "The city is lucky to have you." Grain Fed All Natural Boneless Pork Sirloin Fresh Western Sizzler Steak 3P Fresh - Local Popcorn lo,b bo. Chops Chlck00i/j00) Mason County Journal - Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014 - Page A-7