1011 10th Ave SE was identified as the proposed site for the low-barrier shelter through a joint City of Olympia/Interfaith Works effort. What follows is a timeline pieced together by Concerned Eastside Neighbors.
In light of the need for Interfaith Works to submit a second proposal for funding to the HOME Consortium, Jim Cooper asks the City Council to approve assignment of City staff to assist Interfaith Works by doing an analysis of “available buildings in and around the downtown core” to identify “what the best sites are for that shelter to be located, in hopes that we can have a site selected before we make a funding recommendation to the County Commissioners.” Cooper later says “I’ve heard somewhere on the edge [of the downtown core] would be best”. In the subsequent discussion Karen Rogers raises the idea of using the Fleetwood Building’s basement (which never shows up in staff prepared matrix) and Nathaniel Jones suggests that the functionality of buildings, not just geography, should be considered. City Manager Steve Hall says that the staff could use some council direction on the criteria used in the matrix, but that staff have done some of this work already; he asks that the request be sent to the Land Use committee for further criteria development. (This is documented on video of the July 9, 2013 Council meeting, from 2:42:30 to 2:58:30)
The City staff produce a draft matrix, based on their criteria, dated July 12th. 1011 SE 10th is ranked #3, behind one space that is too small for the shelter and one that the State won’t rent. Notably missing from the criteria used is the presence of schools, children, or services to youth. This, despite the fact that the Interfaith Works funding proposal says that this shelter’s “target population is the chronic, ‘hardest to serve’ population.” The People’s House website goes on to describe this group as “people with more complex needs and multiple challenges – mental illness(es), addiction(s) and other conditions or disabilities, justice-system histories.”
Interfaith Works submits its proposal to the HOME Consortium, specifically naming 1011 SE 10th as its designated site for the shelter. They note that they have already begun discussions with the property owner and his agent. Although the proposal describes the site as “across from the St. Michael Catholic Parish campus,” there is no mention of the presence of either St. Michael’s school or St. Mike’s Tikes daycare and preschool.
The City staff present the draft site matrix to the Land Use Committee. There are no minutes posted so we cannot tell if the committee suggested any changes or additional criteria.
August 7 (almost 3 weeks after the proposal)
Interfaith Works holds its meeting at the Olympia Center to discuss sites. No mention is made prior to the meeting that they have already selected a site in the Eastsude neighborhood. Instead, The Olympian article published August 7th (the morning before the meeting) reports: “A site for the shelter hasn’t been picked, but Martin is hopeful. ‘There’s a lot up in the air still at this point, but if everything gets pinned down, we are hoping to be open for this winter season,’ she said.” (Meg Martin is the shelter director for Interfaith Works.)
The first public announcement of the Eastside site shows up in The Olympian.