As a student at the University of Washington-Tacoma, I had the distinctive pleasure of shadowing and accompanying Thurston County Commissioner Bud Blake to the Home Consortium, Community Investment Partnership and Mason Matters meeting. Blake is passionate about building a relationship and partnership that will support the drive in reducing homelessness.
Breaking the cycle of homelessness requires a new vision with measurable and attainable goals. Blake stated that affordable housing in conjunction with wraparound services for well-being is critical in breaking the cycle of homelessness.
Homeless shelters, like Drexel House, Salvation Army, Pear Blossom, and Interfaith in the Olympia area are vital to helping the destitute population. However, shelters are merely a temporary or interim solution to a long-term social problem.
As the chair for the Housing Action Team, Blake wants to move the conversation from primarily funding sheltering to investing in affordable housing. Shelter only creates a cycle of homelessness every 90 days. The commissioner strongly supports investing in affordable housing project, giving the community the resources needed to move the homeless from shelters to stable housing.