What is the meaning of a low-barrier shelter?

OlympiaOctober 8, 2013 

I am writing in support of The People’s House, a program of Interfaith Works and a proposed low-barrier shelter for the downtown area of Olympia. Many people seem to be ill-informed about what a low-barrier shelter means.

To me, low-barrier shelter means that my clients who are childless couples or gay couples, who struggle with substance use, are gay or lesbian or transgender adults, who struggle with substance use, who don’t have an ID, who are HIV positive, who are human and make mistakes all the time, all of these clients can access services at The People’s House and be treated with respect and dignity, and have the chance to not only get their basic needs met, but get some supportive treatment and referrals to additional services at the same time.

I hope that Olympia citizens can move beyond the propaganda of harm reduction and step forward to make this happen. It is sadly not going to happen before the cold hits this year. Let’s not let the same thing happen next year.

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