Olympia at tipping point, locate shelter elsewhere

OlympiaSeptember 1, 2013 

There are plans underway to site a low-barrier homeless shelter (The People’s House) on 10th Avenue and Eastside. The Eastside neighborhood has supported a number of social service facilities for the homeless including Bread & Roses, two Salvation Army facilities, Camp Quixote, Sidewalk, First Baptist Sunday Dinner and soon the Family Support Center in the Smith Building.

There are concerns about adding yet another homeless shelter in this area. That it will be a low-barrier shelter adds further dimension to concerns about its location. Because homelessness is a city and county-wide problem, a broader net needs to be cast to support this population. As a city we want to support all of our residents, and this support should come from all neighborhoods equally, not overloading one neighborhood.

The Eastside neighborhood and the downtown are currently at their tipping point. It is not enough to consider placing this shelter someplace else; it needs to be placed somewhere else.

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