Olympia & Homelessness
As you know, homelessness in the downtown core has become quite a lively topic of conversation among the Olympia City Council, Thurston County Commissioners, social service providers, citizens, and media following the passage of this past winter’s city ordinances on urban camping and sidewalk use. The People's House is the result of the research, planning, and coordination of the Low Barrier Shelter Task Force. This Task Force, facilitated by the Thurston County Homeless Coordinator, brought together the wisdom, experience and energy of Olympia's most dedicated service providers (members of EGYHOP, Interfaith Works, Catholic Community Services, Partners in Prevention Education, Drexel House, Olympia Downtown Association, as well as surveys from the homeless themselves) to come up with the best solutions to our city's lack of accessible shelter. The People’s House will be an integral social service hub for those in our community living in poverty, with mental illness, addictions and other challenges, and a critical step on the path to housing.
Filling the Gaps in Homeless Services
This project will succeed in fulfilling multiple needs outlined by the Thurston County Homeless Coordinator’s gaps analysis.
To advance the social inclusion and empowerment of the homeless through innovative practices of sheltering, mental health and emergency basic needs coordination.
The People's House is dedicated to providing emergency services and support to those in need, not as charity but as an act of social justice. Homelessness, domestic violence, substance abuse, mental illness, and chronic physical health problems have left many in our community vulnerable and unsafe. The stigma associated with homelessness and poverty pushes those most in need further away, and refuses these individuals their basic human rights and dignity. The work of the People's House is rooted in empowerment, social inclusion, and community education to end the unnecessary stigmatization of the most vulnerable.