Temperatures dipped last weekend and I hold in juxtaposition two related realities:
On Feb. 16, Pastor Amy LaCroix spontaneously offered First Christian Church's hall as overnight shelter for any needing safety from the cold. With other volunteers, I sat an overnight vigil in a room compacted with folks only trying to achieve a most common "right:" a night's sleep.
Then The Olympian informs me of yet another downtown big-box multi-use project. Yet another downtown development step while ignoring our most vulnerable fellow residents.
I appeal to the Thurston County Board of Health members and the Olympia, Tumwater and Lacey city councils to please take the lead, courageously stand up, and together pledge that a sacred-safe cocoon project be initiated for those who struggle to simply survive while living in the throes of the illness of active addiction and its attendant mental illness. Hundreds are struggling to survive today — each day. We cannot wait until any more of them die while we remain unresponsive.
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We need only look to other cities to see compassionate and successful sheltering options for those in addiction's snares. I believe in our community's deep compassionate commitment and willingness to engage in such a project here and now. It is for the literal survival of these individuals that we need a sacred cocoon response and we desperately need our political leaders to spearhead this effort. Many will follow and bring to manifestation such a courageous action!
With deep gratitude I scribe these words.