Olympia can do better on low barrier shelter

OlympiaAugust 21, 2013 

Olympia can do better. I was disappointed to find out that there is a proposal for a new low barrier homeless shelter for the Eastside neighborhood. Not because I am opposed to a shelter but because the neighborhood was not informed about the plans in advance of them being presented to City Council.

I found out about the plan from this paper. The path taken by local homeless advocates lacks communication and transparency. We can do better.

Sadly, I am even more disappointed in the reactions of many of my neighbors to the proposed shelter. There seems to be a knee jerk “not in my backyard” response coming from the most vocal members of the neighborhood.

The argument against the shelter is based on the false assumption that this shelter is dangerous for children and bad for the neighborhood because homeless people are sex offenders, felons and drug addicts. This is a reaction based on fear and misinformation.

As a neighborhood we can do better. I challenge both the homeless advocates and my Eastside neighbors to start to think outside the box and create a better city for both those with homes and those without homes.

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