As a resident and member of the clergy here in Olympia for the past 15 years, I have had opportunity to become deeply involved in issues in our city, primarily the issue of homelessness. I have been involved in the establishment of the Interfaith Works shelter, contributed to Sidewalk, and my congregation hosted a warming center a few years back.
Having been involved in the issue of homelessness over the course of that time, I have become convinced that the strategy for approaching how to look after our neighbors experiencing homelessness is multi-pronged. In other words, there is no one solution, there are many solutions needed to address different aspects of the issue. So while on the one hand we need to make sure that there are a sufficient number of shelter beds and support services to address immediate needs, we need to make sure that there is the ability to create long-term solutions.
It is for this reason that I personally support the Missing Middle proposal for Olympia. In short, to provide housing, we need to have housing. And if we are going to have housing, we are going to need to have a diversity of types of housing in type, size and affordability. It is in this way that we can maximize capacity, create choice, and build a community in which all have a roof over their heads.