This letter was submitted to the Thurston County Commissioners ahead of their meeting on January 11, 2021.
To the Thurston County Commissioners and County Manager:
We, the members of the Concerned Clergy of Olympia, are writing to you today to voice support for the persons currently receiving shelter after being displaced from the Deschutes encampment in early December. Currently there are over 70 people who are being sheltered in a regional hotel as a result of losing their places of residence from this encampment removal.
We support the ongoing sheltering of these Olympia residents in the hotel through the winter months or until such a time when a humane and safe alternative is ready.
As faith leaders we are constantly looking for ways to help in the epidemic of homelessness in our region. Toward that end we believe that the County and City have unique roles to play, just as the faith communities do. One of the ways that we believe the County and City can garner maximum impact is by developing strategies for connecting people to services and continuing to develop safe and affordable housing and shelter options. This includes supporting needs related to start-up infrastructure (like microhouses) and ensuring adequate staffing support for such programs.
We thank you for your review of these points of endorsement and recommendation as you approach your January 11 meeting. We hope and pray for policies that uplift the humanity of all persons in our communities.
Submitted in hope and affirmation of the most vulnerable,
Concerned Clergy of Olympia