Many Olympia Indivisible members have joined or donated items to the homeless advocacy and outreach group based in Yelm, WA named “Love Abounds Here”. We appreciate the help and would like to share our founding principles.
We recognize our homeless neighbors as the people they are. We get to know them. We serve them out of the back of our cars with things they need like clothes, shoes, blankets, hygiene items, sleeping bags, tents, tarps, food, pans and silverware. We advocate for them with the government and with other service organizations. We strive for a future where we can provide local services for them such as emergency warmth shelter, shower and toilet access and connection to Thurston County support services.
Some examples of the people using our help:
A single woman alone in the rain with nothing but the clothes on her back and a cart that only had cardboard in it. She cried as she shopped for little sewing kits, sweater, coat, gloves, a hat, socks, food, tarp, tent, blankets, plastic poncho and a cooking pot.
A 70-year old man and his two little dogs who are living in a car with a broken window. He is seeking a room to rent in Yelm that he can afford with his limited Social Security income.
A father with two children living in his car who works full-time yet lacks the funds to come up with housing deposit and rent money while paying for daycare and food.
Our neighbors are facing a housing crisis because incomes are not keeping pace with the cost of housing. The Thurston County Housing Crisis Response Plan states:
“In Thurston County the primary factors that cause a person to experience homelessness are largely situations are out of an individual’s or family’s control. The 2019 Point In Time(PIT) Census discovered domestic violence, mental illness, family rejection and physical disability make up 52% of the reasons census takers identified as causes for homelessness. Substance use is often anecdotally identified as the leading cause of homelessness, yet according to the PIT census identifies only 10% of those experiencing homelessness identify substance use as the cause. It is important to note that any one circumstance does not alone cause a person to fall into homelessness but rather a combination of factors almost always partnered with poverty”
If you are interested in hearing more, please join our Facebook group Love Abounds Here . Thank you again for your donations. Madeline Bishop