Hotel keep prolonged for former Deschutes encampment inhabitants

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Exterior photograph of the La Quinta Inn by Wyndham in Lacey which quickly housed folks displaced from the previous Deschutes Parkway encampment.

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With a Jan. 18 deadline looming for former citizens of the Deschutes Parkway homeless encampment now lodged in inns, Thurston County stepped in on Tuesday to prolong their hotel stays for an extra two months.

As many as 80 people today have been displaced in December when the city of Olympia swept the sprawling camp across from Capitol Lake following a series of violent incidents and mounting strain from landowners and close by property owners.

The city in the beginning set up about 50 men and women in various motels for three months, then prolonged these stays until eventually Jan. 18 amid snow and under-freezing temperatures. A community exertion funded 16 rooms at the Olympia Inn, but ran out of income and was absorbed by the county.

Presented the county’s chronic lack of shelter room, the deficiency of an exit tactic developed a deadline with all those in short term hotel stays struggling with a return to unsheltered homelessness.

County staff members say there is a exceptional chance to uncover transitional housing over the upcoming couple months, with about 45 new shelter spaces and tiny homes opening up for the 1st time in many years. That is simply because Interfaith Works very last month opened Unity Commons, a permanent supportive housing facility and shelter that is expected to no cost up space as folks shift from little properties and shelters into flats.

“That is the biggest just one-time option that we will possibly not ever be able to copy all over again,” explained Keylee Marineau, who coordinates homeless services for the county.

Beginning with 55 hotel rooms, the county’s plan will involve lowering the amount of rooms each two months, with the expectation that outreach workers will discover shelter placements for the bulk by March 14. Some people today might be equipped to remain more time, as a separate contract permitted by the county on Tuesday allocates further cash to Olympia Mutual Assist Partners (OlyMAP) to lease 20 hotel rooms for 2-3 weeks to property people impacted by camp sweeps.

In accordance to county paperwork, people being at the Olympia Inn will shift to the Super 8 resort in Lacey future week, so that outreach and other wraparound companies can be consolidated in one particular place. Assistant City Manager Keith Stahley described the attempts as “essentially handling a 46-individual shelter.”

“I feel we need to have to be honest that it is possible we will not be in a position to present long lasting alternatives for anyone, but we think we can establish sustainable methods for a significant amount of the existing people that are there,” stated Tom Webster, Housing Program Professional for the county.

The Board of County Commissioners unanimously accepted the approach on Tuesday. The bulk of the funding arrives from a $285,000 grant from the state Department of Commerce earmarked to aid tackle the fallout of the Deschutes Parkway sweep.

Commissioner Gary Edwards, who frequently opposes expending on products and services for the homeless, supported the approach but expressed common fears about people from other counties benefiting and asked a employees individual if he could haul absent junk from an encampment close to Highway 101.

This story was initially released January 12, 2022 5:00 AM.

Brandon Block is The Olympian’s Housing and Homelessness Reporter. He is a Corps Member with Report For The united states, a nationwide service system that sites journalists into local newsrooms.