Candidate proposes rehab solution to homelessness

WSU GOP invites governor candidate, who speaks on how providing addiction treatments can help homelessness



Joshua Freed, governor candidate, answers a question from a community member about how he feels having a large family and possibly drugs making their way into the state on Monday evening at the Marriott Courtyard in Pullman.


Joshua Freed, governor candidate, attended a Q&A forum on Monday to help strengthen his run for candidacy. 

WSU’s Grand Old Party political club brought Freed to Pullman to allow local voters to ask questions about his policies.

Freed began the forum by speaking about his opposition, Governor Jay Inslee. 

“Jay Inslee talks a lot about climate change but ignores the climate on the streets when it comes to the homeless issue,” Freed said. 

Freed said the rising homeless population is currently affecting the state of Washington. He said the cause of homelessness is drug and alcohol addiction. While homelessness seems to be on the rise nationwide, the rate of homelessness in Washington state has dropped, according to a January 2020 article in The Seattle Times, which cited data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

“80 percent of homeless people suffer from drug addiction and the only way to solve them is to provide them with the government support they need,” Freed said. 

King County did experience record-breaking higher mortality rates for homeless people in 2017, according to a report from the King County Medical Examiner’s Office, and the leading cause of death was substance abuse. However, studies find conflicting evidence about the percentage of homeless people who report their use of drugs, and the number is more likely 25 to 30 percent, according to a 2017 article from Voices of San Diego.

Freed said building homeless shelters is not the solution, but providing proper treatment and opening more facilities will help homeless people become functioning members of society.

Freed also addressed the rising crime problem in Seattle by calling it a “Gotham state.” He said Seattle criminal courts are becoming too dangerous due to an overflow of criminals. 

Freed said he noticed a rising heroin problem in Seattle. He said people should not consider this as a new normal but instead support the police department. 

Freed said Inslee is using his position as governor to run for president and because of this, Inslee has started to ignore the problems in his own state.

“I will not sign a budget unless the public has an opportunity to speak to it, because we are supposed to be a government of the people, by the people and for the people,” he said. 

Freed said he has a friend in Guatemala who sent him a photo of apples from Washington.  

“Washington state feeds the world with what we grow here, and that is something we can be proud of,” Freed said. 

Attendees asked Freed several questions about mental health, immigration policies and taxes. 

One attendee asked about the rising level of illegal immigrants in the state.

“Washington will continue being a state of many cultures and diversity and we should focus on the people who have come here legally and actively contributing to the betterment of this state,” Freed said.