Olympia's Homeless Response

Immediate, emergency actions

Homelessness affects all of Thurston County, but is most visible within the urban hub of downtown Olympia. In July 2018, the Olympia City Council declared a public health emergency related to homelessness. Doing so enables the City to respond to the needs in the community more quickly.

The City is addressing the immediate, emergency needs with a variety of actions and strategies including:

  • Mitigation Site(s);
  • the Plum Street Tiny House Village;
  • a City & Faith Community Pilot Partnership;
  • Expansion of 24/7 shelter options;
  • Mobile Crisis Response and Familiar Faces teams;
  • Secure storage for homeless individuals' belongings; and
  • a Rapid Response Team that monitors City-owned property to prevent new unmanaged encampments.

Learn more about all of our homeless response actions at olympiawa.gov/homelessness and sign up for email updates at olympiawa.gov/subscribe.

Long-term strategies & actions

In March 2019, the City began a process to identify how we, as a regional community, will respond (in the long-term) to the homelessness crisis. This includes planning for the needs of residents, visitors, business owners and individuals experiencing homelessness.

The public engagement part of this process is now complete. Over the course of 20 different events and workshops, the Community Work Group heard from over 700 community members (including at least 50 different community organizations). Over 600 community members contributed input via online surveys. You can find summaries of what we’ve heard throughout this process in the Document Library.

What's next?

In February, the Community Work Group will meet with the City Council to present a Homeless Response Plan that represents what they heard from the community. The Plan is a strategic way forward for addressing homelessness and its impacts on our community, and includes three focus areas:

  • Streamlining rapid response and wrap-around services;
  • Expanding affordable housing and prevention; and
  • Increasing public health and safety.

The City will continue to further develop the plan by:

  • Identifying specific actions that the City will take lead on and timelines, including actions already underway;
  • Working with key stakeholders and possible partner organizations to identify partner-led actions and timelines; and
  • Identifying metrics to help us track and report on our progress over time

A final Homeless Response Plan will be available in April.

Immediate, emergency actions

Homelessness affects all of Thurston County, but is most visible within the urban hub of downtown Olympia. In July 2018, the Olympia City Council declared a public health emergency related to homelessness. Doing so enables the City to respond to the needs in the community more quickly.

The City is addressing the immediate, emergency needs with a variety of actions and strategies including:

  • Mitigation Site(s);
  • the Plum Street Tiny House Village;
  • a City & Faith Community Pilot Partnership;
  • Expansion of 24/7 shelter options;
  • Mobile Crisis Response and Familiar Faces teams;
  • Secure storage for homeless individuals' belongings; and
  • a Rapid Response Team that monitors City-owned property to prevent new unmanaged encampments.

Learn more about all of our homeless response actions at olympiawa.gov/homelessness and sign up for email updates at olympiawa.gov/subscribe.

Long-term strategies & actions

In March 2019, the City began a process to identify how we, as a regional community, will respond (in the long-term) to the homelessness crisis. This includes planning for the needs of residents, visitors, business owners and individuals experiencing homelessness.

The public engagement part of this process is now complete. Over the course of 20 different events and workshops, the Community Work Group heard from over 700 community members (including at least 50 different community organizations). Over 600 community members contributed input via online surveys. You can find summaries of what we’ve heard throughout this process in the Document Library.

What's next?

In February, the Community Work Group will meet with the City Council to present a Homeless Response Plan that represents what they heard from the community. The Plan is a strategic way forward for addressing homelessness and its impacts on our community, and includes three focus areas:

  • Streamlining rapid response and wrap-around services;
  • Expanding affordable housing and prevention; and
  • Increasing public health and safety.

The City will continue to further develop the plan by:

  • Identifying specific actions that the City will take lead on and timelines, including actions already underway;
  • Working with key stakeholders and possible partner organizations to identify partner-led actions and timelines; and
  • Identifying metrics to help us track and report on our progress over time

A final Homeless Response Plan will be available in April.

  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    So far in this process, we have heard from over 700 community members and stakeholders by way of listening sessions, workshops, and surveys. We’ve taken that input and identified draft strategies, actions, and metrics. 

    Now we need to hear from you—did we get it right?

    This survey closed on November 17.

    So far in this process, we have heard from over 700 community members and stakeholders by way of listening sessions, workshops, and surveys. We’ve taken that input and identified draft strategies, actions, and metrics. 

    Now we need to hear from you—did we get it right?

    This survey closed on November 17.

    Take Survey
  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    As we launch the process to develop a long-term Homeless Response Plan, we would like to start by learning more about the homelessness crisis and its impacts on our community. The purpose of this survey is to help us better understand what you are currently experiencing, feeling, and thinking about this complex issue.

    This survey closed on May 30

    Your input will be used to help the Community Work Group have a broader understanding of what’s currently happening in our community around homelessness, and to identify areas in which need to learn more.

    It will also shape the

    As we launch the process to develop a long-term Homeless Response Plan, we would like to start by learning more about the homelessness crisis and its impacts on our community. The purpose of this survey is to help us better understand what you are currently experiencing, feeling, and thinking about this complex issue.

    This survey closed on May 30

    Your input will be used to help the Community Work Group have a broader understanding of what’s currently happening in our community around homelessness, and to identify areas in which need to learn more.

    It will also shape the kinds of conversations and dialogue we need to have as part of this process to move towards identifying shared solutions.


    Take Survey
  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    On Thursday, March 28, the City of Olympia held a listening session to hear from a wide variety of resource providers about the homelessness crisis and its impacts on our community.  If you were unable to attend session, but would like to share your input, please take the survey below.

    This survey closed on April 19

    Your input will be used to help the Community Work Group understand what’s currently happening in our community around homelessness, and to identify areas in which we need to learn more.  It will also shape the kinds of conversations and

    On Thursday, March 28, the City of Olympia held a listening session to hear from a wide variety of resource providers about the homelessness crisis and its impacts on our community.  If you were unable to attend session, but would like to share your input, please take the survey below.

    This survey closed on April 19

    Your input will be used to help the Community Work Group understand what’s currently happening in our community around homelessness, and to identify areas in which we need to learn more.  It will also shape the kinds of conversations and dialogue we have as part of this process going forward.

    Take Survey