Mayor Goodwin Calls on Governor, State Legislature to Convene Special Session

Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin has requested Governor Jim Justice, Senate President Craig Blair, and Speaker of the House Roger Hanshaw convene a special session to tackle key issues regarding substance use, homelessness and mental health. The letter details seven actionable items—including legislation, programming, preventative measures, and recruitment of healthcare professionals—aimed at providing additional resources for people in active addiction and those currently experiencing homelessness and/or mental health issues.


“Saying that systems are broken is not an accurate way to tell the story of what’s happening because it’s not just broken, it’s shattered. It’s not the fault of a few bad people or a few people unwilling to help. We are not blaming anyone,” said Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin. “We are here because of decades of neglect and avoidance when it comes to effectively dealing with mental health, substance abuse and homelessness.”


The letter sent this week, details progress the City of Charleston’s CARE Office has made since its inception in 2019. While these efforts have helped folks throughout our Capital City, more can be done in Charleston, and throughout the entire State of West Virginia, if everyone has a seat at the table in creating long-term solutions.


“We have been working on these issues since my first day in office and we have spent months working with our CARE Office and local service providers to identify actionable solutions. Charleston, alone, cannot solve all these problems,” said Mayor Goodwin. “Cities need to have a seat at the table when discussing these complex issues because we are the one dealing directly with these issues and paying the price—everyday.”


“The solutions we provided to the Governor and Legislative leadership will not address or solve the problems completely; however, they provide a solid start toward building the infrastructure and systems we need in order to tackle the most complicated and complex problem of our generation,” said Mayor Goodwin. “We understand these are not inexpensive endeavors but at this point, the cost of action on these issues pale in comparison to the cost of inaction.”


The full letter sent to Governor Jim Justice, Senate President Craig Blair and Speaker of the House Roger Hanshaw is attached.