Yelm Community Services – 22 Years of Service
From Matt Batcheldor in The Olympian:
“For years, volunteers have headed into the woods in Thurston County to count homeless people in makeshift camps.
Not this year.”
“The Thurston County Homeless Census, which takes place Thursday [January 24], will focus on counting people who come into Olympia [and Yelm] for meals and social services. Organizers will set up events to draw them in rather than going to them.
The counting will take place in an event billed as Homeless Connect, set for 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday at First Christian Church, 701 Franklin St. SE, in downtown Olympia. Haircuts, food and social services will be provided, Schlecht said [Anna Schlecht, housing program manager for Olympia and the coordinator of the census].
Nearby at Temple Beth Hatfiloh, doctors will be on hand to help point people to medical services. Free vaccinations will be available. The event lasts from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Some services also will be offered outdoors for people with their dogs and bikes, or those who dont want to go inside, Schlecht said.
Similar services will be offered from 1-4 p.m. at Yelm Community Services, 624 Crystal Springs Road NW.”
“The information gleaned from the count helps the community qualify for grants for social service programs.
Slusher [Theresa Slusher, the countys homeless coordinator] said the county is making a special effort to count young people this year. Of the 691 people who gave an age in last years census, 320 were 25 or younger. There were 45 homeless people counted between 18 and 20; 87 between 21 and 25; and 188 younger than 18.”