Homelessness has been an ongoing problem in Olympia.
Affordable housing projects like the Olympia Commons housing project is up for review with the Olympia site plan review committee. The site committee needs to approve this project and others like it. Affordable housing is an important part in breaking the cycle of poverty in Olympia.
In Washington state, the fair market rent for a two-bedroom rental unit cost $966. With the minimum wage at $9.47 an hour, a person must have two full time jobs to afford paying the rent.
Unstable housing situations and homelessness have severe consequences for our children. It disrupts schooling, in which children and families experience extreme stress. This can result in lifelong consequences on children’s academic achievement and success as adults.
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m Emergency shelters like the Interfaith Homeless Shelter in downtown Olympia are important to help the homeless, but shelters are a short-term solution for a long-term problem. Affordable housing in conjunction with a higher minimum wage is part of the long-term solution in breaking the cycle of poverty.