Housing team tries to ‘take’ Olympia lodge for shelter

About 35 people on Sunday were protesting inside and outside the Red Lion Hotel in downtown Olympia. Oly Housing Now say they’ve purchased 17 hotel rooms for homeless people from nearby encampments and plan to stay until the county commits funds for permanent housing.

About 35 people on Sunday were being protesting inside and exterior the Pink Lion Resort in downtown Olympia. Oly Housing Now say they’ve acquired 17 resort rooms for homeless persons from nearby encampments and program to continue to be right up until the county commits resources for long term housing.

Brandon Block

Activists with a group known as Oly Housing Now have occupied the foyer and 17 rooms of the Crimson Lion Lodge in downtown Olympia.

Soon just before noon on Sunday, about 35 customers of the group collected in the foyer and exterior the resort on Capitol Way throughout from Sylvester Park, which employed to be acknowledged as the Governor Resort.

Organizer Emma Dietz states they bought 17 resort rooms for homeless folks from close by encampments and prepare to remain until finally the county commits money for everlasting housing.

The concierge desk was empty when The Olympian arrived about midday and no workforce ended up seen.

Several organizers introduced boxes of paper towels and ramen upstairs. About a dozen persons ended up sitting in chairs hunting at their phones and studying zines, one of which was titled “It’s Vacant, Consider It!”

An Olympia Police Section SUV was parked in a good deal throughout the street, but still left someday soon after 1 P.M.

Dietz has been volunteering with a team termed Olympia Anarchist Mutual Aid that provides provides like propane heaters and does laundry for individuals living in tent encampments at Capitol Lake and on Wheeler Avenue adjacent to Interstate 5. She claimed that the combination of rain, chilly, and rats make problems there intolerable.

On Saturday night, Oly Housing Now acquired a person night time in the resort rooms and moved 33 unhoused people today in, where they program to remain indefinitely. They want Thurston County to implement for funding that’s currently being provided by the Federal Emergency Administration Agency (FEMA) to home men and women who are 65+ or have pre-existing health disorders that place them at elevated hazard for COVID-19 difficulties – a descriptor that applies to quite a few people today who are unhoused.

Keylee Marineau, the Homeless Coordinator for Thurston County, states she went to the hotel and talked with organizers Sunday afternoon and claims the county is hunting into the federal funding application.

“We’re actively pursuing avenues to realize how the homeless-specific money for FEMA operate,” Marineau mentioned.

The Thurston County General public Health Division presently has a “quarantine and isolation facility”, which is a hotel wherever men and women can stay quickly if they check for COVID-19 or are awaiting test final results and do not have a protected location to quarantine.

That facility is also a resort. County officers have not disclosed its identify, but claimed it is not the Purple Lion Inn.

Another organizer who goes by the title Tibor mentioned the county’s present-day steps are inadequate.

“You have to get sick just to get a roof over your head,” he mentioned. “It’s not suitable.”

What is heading on inside of

In his place on the fourth ground, a person with a curly mohawk named Kristopher Mallotte factors out the window in direction of Capitol Lake at the encampment the place he sleeps most evenings.

Mallotte has been homeless on and off given that he was 13 years-aged.

He says Dietz approached him about the idea, and it sounded like it could elevate consciousness to spur officers to act.

“I consider this will pose plenty of of an eyesore for us to say hey, you want us out of here, give us yet another building to dwell in,” Mallotte explained.

He’s organized to remain right here and help Dietz and the occupation as prolonged as the organizers believe is required.

“She seems to care,” he said.

This tale will be up-to-date as new information and facts gets obtainable.

Profile Image of Brandon Block

Brandon Block is The Olympian’s Housing and Homelessness Reporter. He is a Corps Member with Report For America, a national assistance software that locations journalists into regional newsrooms.