Public safety, homelessness among Lacey Youth Council’s top priorities


The Lacey Youth Council (LYC) took center stage during the Lacey City Council work session on Tuesday, May 14, presenting updates and outlining priorities for their term.

From initiatives addressing public safety to tackling homelessness, the youth council's presentation highlighted community concerns.

One significant aspect of the LYC's report was their visit to the Thurston County Ballot Processing Center, marking their first off-site visit.

During their tour on September 24, 2023, council members learned about the center's pivotal role in processing all ballots for Thurston County, providing invaluable insights into election administration.

Additionally, the LYC highlighted its collaboration with North Thurston Public Schools (NTPS) and the City of Lacey.

The historic first-ever meeting between NTPS and LYC representatives emphasized joint efforts in various areas, including partnerships.

Public safety emerged as one of the highlights for the LYC, with Youth Mayor Sarah Towne underscoring the importance of addressing this issue.

The council's engagement with the Lacey Police Department underscored initiatives such as proactive high visibility patrols and the School Resource Officer Program, aimed at fostering positive interactions between law enforcement and youth.

“Having SROs in schools acts as a liaison between youth, the community, and the police, preventing youths from taking a darker path,” Towne said.

Councilmember Rory Line emphasized the LYC's ongoing dedication to addressing homelessness, highlighting the nuanced distinction between homelessness and houselessness.

Line said youth council members gained a deeper understanding of the factors contributing to housing instability, including the lack of affordable housing and the vulnerability of high-risk individuals.

“A primary issue is the lack of affordable housing and housing in general,” said Line. This shortage can be due to the population growing too quickly for the housing market to accommodate or the market becoming too expensive for people to afford with their current wages.

Additionally, Line noted that mental or physical health issues and challenges with substance abuse can further exacerbate their situations.

“These issues are also affecting teenagers today.”


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