Please see the people without houses as human beings who are doing the best they can to survive against the odds. They are not dangerous — they are in danger of dying in the cold, and trauma from not having a safe place to go and few ways to get their needs met. If you were houseless where would you find shelter, food, clothing, laundry,a bathroom,a shower? Where would you store your possessions? How would you compete with the housed for jobs? Travel on the bus, if you have bus fare, is a hard way to be on time for interviews.
Many houseless people do have jobs that don't pay enough to save 1st, last and deposit on an apartment. It is hard to get and keep a job with nowhere to get a good nights' sleep, shower. and keep clothes clean.
There are over 800 unhoused people in Olympia and surrounding woods. Shelter beds are very limited. It is heartless and cruel to keep them moving from place to place just because we don't like to see them and be reminded of their suffering. The Community Care Center, SideWalk, Just Housing and some churches are doing good, but the need is overwhelming. There are not enough low income housing or shelters. Also we need much more capacity for treatment of mentally ill and those with addiction.
Heather Pens, Olympia
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