All Politics is Local

Homeless with 8-month-old baby girl

On August 17, at 4:02 p.m. Megan emailed Vancouver City Councilor Alishia Topper for help.

It was a short email, barely a paragraph.

I’m leaving out Megan’s last name because she didn’t send the email with the idea a reporter would later read it.

Lately, we’ve written a lot about the affordable housing crisis the city is facing. This November, city of Vancouver residents will decide whether to increase property taxes to address the affordable-housing emergency. So, we’ll be writing more about it in the future.

But what Megan’s email illustrated, in only six sentences, is the sense of desperation people who can’t afford a place to live are facing.

The subject: Homeless with 8-month-old baby girl.

“My boyfriend and I were evicted out of our home because the landlord wanted to make more money from renters,” Megan wrote.

“We are now living in an old Volvo with no air conditioner and a small 8-month-old baby girl.”

“The homeless shelters are full and I can’t afford any of the apartments in Vancouver, even though I work full time at full pay.”

“Please help us!”

“We have looked everywhere for help and no one seems able to lend us a hand. Please contact us at your earliest convenience.”

Signed, “Sincerely, Megan.”

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or lauren.dake@columbian.com. Follow her on Twitter .