Last night, the Washougal City Council made the right decision to include funding for the East County Family Resource Center in its 2014 budget, as it has done for the past several years.
For the second year, the issue of whether the city of Washougal should provide funding to this non-profit social services organization became a topic of discussion and debate during budget talks. This time around, the concern primarily focused on where young women who think they may be pregnant and need a pregnancy test are referred to for additional services. The answer is Sea Mar Community Health Centers, which gives pregnant women information that lays out all options. This could include abortion, in addition to adoption and becoming a parent. According to Sea Mar officials, women are not encouraged to make a particular choice.
Washougal budget talks also included at least one City Councilman questioning whether the city should support funding for social services.
The controversy focused on these specific two issues, but when considering this funding there is a much bigger picture that must be taken into account. East County Family Resource Center provides valuable help to men, women, children and families in Camas and Washougal. These social services are in high demand in our communities, which have their fair share of lower income people who struggle on a daily basis to make ends meet.
Illustrating this is the fact that the center served 300 families from July 1 to Oct. 31, this year. That included 1,521 emergency food bags, 198 children received clothing and other items, and 91 children received backpacks stuffed with school supplies.
This organization does an incredible amount of good in the local communities, focusing on offering a variety of services that have the potential to have positive impacts on many lives. East County Family Resource Center is worthy of receiving the $7,500 in public funding the city provides annually.