Downtown needs new low-barrier shelter

Downtown OlympiaJanuary 11, 2013 

Recently, the Olympia City Council took up the issue of people camping at City Hall. The reasons folks are camping there are varied, but mostly boils down to having nowhere else to go.

Downtown Olympia needs a 24-hour, low-barrier shelter, complete with bathrooms, hygiene services and case management. This can’t be done by any one organization alone. We have to form a coalition made up of service providers, the faith community, business owners and employees and our neighbors.

We have to keep pressure on our council, urge them to keep working toward a lasting solution, and support Mayor Stephen Buxbaum and Councilman Jim Cooper in their efforts to get us there.

Our council is not made up of tyrants; in fact, they are each and every one compassionate and caring, especially for those in need in our community. But they are not experts. We have to work with them, guide them toward real solutions, and show them that we aren’t here to fight, but to but to be a part of making our city a better place.

We have to hold their feet to the fire and not let another round of noneffective ordinances pass, only to see the same problems resurface down the road. Please join me in sending messages – by phone, email, or in person – of encouragement to our council, and let’s make a 24-hour, low-barrier shelter a reality.

The Olympian is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service