COVID-19 Crisis: How you can help!

Dear community,

As you know, the first originating case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Thurston County.

Just Housing Olympia (JHO) will be working with Partners in Prevention Education (PiPE) and others involved with the Greater Regional Outreach Workers League (GROWL) to support our unhoused neighbors during this pandemic. We will also be coordinating with other community advocates to support low-income people and tenants, and to advocate for economic and health protections for all, as our capacity allows.

How you can help:

Money:

We know that we are all facing economic hardships at this time, but for those who are able to, we ask that you donate to PiPE to help make these outreach and survival strategies sustainable in the coming months. pipeolympia.org/donate

Volunteer to organize supplies:

PiPE has an extensive training process for direct service, so they primarily need support with supply organization. https://pipeolympia.org/volunteer/

Volunteer to distribute supplies:

Throughout the next few weeks, JHO will be helping to distribute survival supplies and food to people living outdoors. If you’re able to help with this, please email us at contact@justhousingolympia.org and let us know what days/times you can help out. Also let us know if you have a car!

Cook food:

Can you sign up to cook a hot meal once or twice a week? Any amount will help, but enough to serve 10-12 people would be best. If you can help with this, email us at contact@justhousingolympia.org and let us know what day/time you can have food prepared and if you need someone to come and pick up the food from your place.

Donate Supplies:

Click here for a list of needed supplies

Supplies can be dropped off at PiPE Tuesday-Friday 1-5, or call/email them to schedule a time. (360) 357-4472, and charlia@pipeolympia.org

Advocate:

Providence  is planning to close the Providence Community Care Center on March 17th. Hundreds of unsheltered people in Thurston County depend on the PCCC for essential health and hygiene services as well as for daytime shelter. This action will only exacerbate, not minimize the harms of this crisis. Please email Providence’s CEO at Paul.Wilkinson@providence.org and ask that they reverse this decision immediately.

Please take a moment to email your local elected officials and urge them to ensure that low-income people and those without shelter are not left behind in this crisis.  We need emergency economic and health supports/protections to minimize the harm that this crisis will have on our community, particularly those who are already fighting to get by every day. 

Here are some examples of things to advocate for:

-Handwashing stations, port-a-potties, and dumpsters placed at as many encampments as possible

-Open, staff, and clean all public restrooms so that they are available 24/7

-Moratoriums on evictions, mortgage payments, utility shut-offs, and displacement of houseless people living in camps, in the streets, and in vehicles

-Emergency funding to be put towards getting food to people who are self-quarantining both indoors and outdoors, creating a safe place to quarantine people without shelter who are recovering from COVID-19, staffing emergency shelters and essential social services, and emergency survival supplies for people living outdoors

-Protections for parents and low-income people without sick leave who are at risk of losing their jobs and homes because of sickness or needing to stay home with their children due to school closures

-Economic support for local businesses

Click here for a list of local officials and their contact information

** There will soon be an open letter listing these demands and more that community members can sign onto. We will share this as soon as it is available.**

Join a group to provide mutual aid:

Whether we’re unhoused or housed, we’ll likely have to lean on each other more in the coming days, weeks and months. We recommend joining the Olympia Mutual Aid Collective Public Group on Facebook if you want to learn more about our community’s response, resources that are available, and ways to get involved.

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