I do not support the proposed low barrier shelter in Olympia’s downtown, and particularly not next to the Boardwalk Apartments senior housing development. It just doesn’t make sense.
I’ve been an active community member and downtown business owner for over 40 years. Our downtown’s economic vitality has been in decline. The low barrier shelter will hasten that decline.
The folks that really want to better their lives can avail themselves of an array of social services. Our community is good at taking care of our vulnerable citizens and I’m proud of that. The proposal by Interfaith Works to build a $400,000 clubhouse for people that don’t want to follow the rules of our existing shelters is not going to help downtown. It will attract more people that get kicked out of other shelters up and down the I-5 corridor.
I don’t understand how our elected leaders can’t see that these folks don’t share our community values. They land here to take advantage of the services, not to help build community.
Something to think about: how is it that Olympia’s mayor rallied to the defense of the Garfield Neighborhood that didn’t like the potential impact of a Boys & Girls Club, but rallies to support a low barrier shelter location that will welcome sex offenders and felons, no questions asked, next to 300 low- to moderate-income senior citizens?
Please speak up and defend our downtown. Tell the city council at to find a more appropriate location.