The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Wallace Haupt

Why the discomfort?


When I bring up the subject of the homeless, the first thing I usually hear are objections. And I’m not sure why.

When people want something and believe in the basic worth and good of it, they usually go out of their way to embrace the idea and happily sacrifice nit-picking and quibbling to do so—damn the torpedoes, as they say.

So why the reflexive opposition? What is it about the idea of a community providing a shelter for homeless or endangered women that makes most people immediately want to bring up the problems, the hurdles, the procedural and managerial and fiduciary difficulties, as if they’d just received a law degree or a Latin dictionary for their birthday? Can someone please explain?

Are we aware that we’re talking about women in unfortunate circumstances, and not stray dogs, or tics bearing Lyme disease, or plague-infested rats poised for invasion on the ropes of some offshore Somali pirate ship?

My honest impression, after an admittedly small amount of research, is that Father’s House (a local church in the heart of Goldendale) is doing its best, with a great staff and less than adequate resources, to provide short-term assistance to a small number of women in distress.

As I spoke with Jan (a facility staffer) on the front steps of the church, educating me as to the program’s various capabilities and incapabilities, she lowered her voice and pointed with her eyes to a lady in her 30s who just happened to be passing by across the street. She was evidently homeless, though I might never have guessed it—no grocery cart piled to the rafters, no tattered rags or cloud of flies overhead, just a rather pleasant looking young woman walking slowly south on Klickitat Street.

”She has no place to go,” Jan said.

That simple phrase has stayed with me, haunted me. And it’s why I’m writing this—to ask your help. As Jan went on to explain, the thing they need most is a nice-sized house. So perhaps as someone (or you) are planning your retirement to Yuma or drawing up a will, or simply moved with compassion to leave a humanitarian legacy, you might consider leaving behind a someplace for such women to go.

And of course, many types of donations, large or small, are greatly appreciated

Is this not at least worth discussing?

So if you have questions or comments, please contact Jan at Fathers House, or facility director Will Dreger at, or myself at


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