August 19 Public Forum re: Low-Barrier Shelter Minutes

On Monday August 19 a Public Forum was held at St. Michael’s Church regarding the low-barrier shelter proposed for 1011 10th Ave.

Meeting started at 7:00 pm.

A brief overview of the process that would be used to elicit feedback from the forum attendees was provided by the 3rd party facilitator.

Concerned Eastside Neighbors expressed issues regarding the project and the lack of communication around it, and distributed a handout A Message from Concerned Eastside Neighbors.

A 10-minute presentation was provided by Interfaith Works and several handouts were distributed, The Peoples House FAQ’sPeople’s House TimelineSexual Violence Stats and Registered Offender Map 8.19.13.

Forum attendees were asked to work in small groups to answer two questions:

1. What are your concerns about the project?

2. What are your hopes for the project?

Following the small group work, groups presented their concerns and hopes, which was followed by a short Q & A session. Interfaith Works stated that due to time constraints they would respond in writing to the concerns and hopes and the Q & A questions in “one or two weeks.” When a response is received it will be posted to the ENA website.

Below is a list of the concerns and hopes that were expressed:

Concerns

Location
Schools were not part of the criteria
If there is a large neighbourhood opposition, would you find another site?
How close sex offenders can be to schools
Concern about staffing levels
Limits on length of stays
Timeline for this process
Cost of supervision of kids at recess, specifically schools
Decrease in property values of Eastside residents
Too many services in this neighbourhood
Lack of public process
St. mike’s having a public process
Anyone can access this with all the kids
A lot of times sex offenders don’t even register
Empty beds at other shelters
$400,000 taken away from rapid rehousing, which helps children and families
Olympia is bearing a big load
Historically our neighbourhood has felt disenfranchised, this would continue that
Concern about centralization of services
What additional police resources will be available to the shelter
Increase crime
Research about placing LBS in neighborhoods
Concern about it being 24 hour access
Policies and procedures will be developed later…that should be done now
Number and kind of trained staff
Shelter becoming a dumping ground for those rejected from other shelters
How will those high risk groups interact with each other
Sex offenders self reporting
Offenders near schools
Who is on the board for interfaith that lives within four blocks of this shelter
Funding after this year
Process is moving to fast – disorganized, short-sighted, need to slow down/step back and look at overal county/city plan to address homelessness
Poor planning by city/county- they need to take responsibility to address homelessness

Hopes

We hope it’s not located here
Maybe people will have a place to go
Not near or in residential neighborhoods
People can be successful finding a place to stay
People will have a place to stay come winter
Public restrooms
We see ourselves as part of the solution
Already are sex offenders and that they would have resources
Safety for all is paramount
Have this kind of turn out to work with the shelter!
Make sure they follow through
Professional support
City/county will address homelessness holistically, with all stakeholders involved
The community at large could be a resource in helping resolve these issues, with City/County leading the charge
Meeting adjourned 8:30 pm

One Response to “August 19 Public Forum re: Low-Barrier Shelter Minutes”

  1. Patty Jacobsen

    I am also very concerned about putting the shelter so close to the schools and residential areas, because of the tendency to loiter out of boredom, and the school being so close might be to great a temptation for possible sex offenders mingling in that population. They need to be away from schools and children in the residential areas. I live across the street from St. Michaels school and see many homeless waiting for the bus in front of the school and that will increase greatly also. Let’s not wait till something happens to correct the potential problem

    Reply

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