A ‘Homeless Connect’ resource fair will be conducted in Yelm this Thursday:
WHAT: 2014 Thurston County Homeless Census
WHEN: Thursday, January 23, 1-4pm
WHERE: Yelm Community Services, 624 Crystal Springs Rd. NW, Yelm
The annual Thurston County Homeless Census is overseen by the Thurston County HOME Consortium, comprised of elected officials from Bucoda, Olympia, Lacey, Rainier, Tenino, Tumwater, Yelm, and Thurston County and is an advisory board to the Thurston County Board of Commissioners.
Yelm City Council member Mike McGowan represents Yelm on the HOME Consortium Board.
The the 2013 homeless census report had several key points about Yelm and vicinity:
– 56% increase in homelessness in Thurston County since 2006,
– Yelm Community Services has six shelter beds,
– Churches offer additional, informal shelter resources in their facilities,
– Rural areas are more likely to find people living in vehicles or substandard structures that dont meet housing standards,
– they tend to rely on informal networks for food, shelter and other needs and fall beyond the radar of services providers and state programs,
– Yelm social services are anchored by Yelm Community Services Center and supported by faith-based organizations and civic organizations,
– Emanuel Lutheran Church and Covenant Crossroads Church in Yelm provide an evening meal and food bank & Yelm Rotary and Yelm Lions clubs participate in food programs,
– Yelm Prairie Christian Center also operates a food bank,
– Yelm, like other rural communities, is challenged by a lack of locally based resources.
– Rural community leaders express concerns about not receiving a proportionate share of available public funding. Rural areas are further challenged by limited public transportation resources for rural people in need who have to travel to access services in the urban hub.
Thursday’s event provides warm clothing and coats, hot meals, and connects people with local social services.