What is Thurston County doing to address homelessness?

On June 14, 2018, the Thurston County Board of Health (BoH) declared homelessness a public health crisis in Thurston County. The declaration was one of the first steps in taking a proactive approach to understanding and addressing homelessness in our region.  

Additional steps the County is taking to address this issue are:

  • Approved the Thurston County Homeless Crisis Response Plan for 2019-2024
  • Conducted a fair housing assessment   
  • Distributed $6.2 million dollars to 22 nonprofit agencies to support homeless and affordable housing
  • Provided rental assistance to military veterans and their families at the Lacey Veteran's Hub 
  • Supported Thurston Thrives Housing Action Team in implementing strategic goals
  • Promoted healthy and safe rental housing through the Healthy Homes program
  • Conducted the first rental housing symposium
  • Partnering with the City of Olympia in developing a Homelessness Response Plan
  • Participated and sponsored the regional housing summit in partnership with Thurston Thrives and other local jurisdictions
  • Supported Thurston Thrives affordable housing team in promoting the housing affordability model to incentivize private public partnerships to  develop new affordable housing in Thurston County 
  • Launched and convened the Hazardous Weather Task Force and developed a “Code Blue” plan to save lives, increase sheltering capacity, and coordinate county wide response during inclement weather
  • Expanded the cold weather season to provide more consistent sheltering options for those that are unsheltered during our coldest winter months 
  • Provided emergency funding to local shelter providers, the Community Care Center, and the coordinated entry system
  • Hired a new Homeless Prevention and Affordable Housing Coordinator to coordinate regional efforts to address the homeless and affordable housing crisis
  • Provided Hepatitis-A vaccination clinics to those experiencing homelessness in partnership with the Olympia Free Clinic. 
  • Conducted the annual county wide point in time count for 2019 in partnership with the City of Olympia and over 200 volunteers 
  • Providing funding and support to Thurston County’s Coordinated Entry System to assess needs and connect people to available housing, shelter, and other basic needs


Keylee Marineau

Homeless Prevention and Affordable Housing Coordinator



Thurston County’s Coordinated Entry Shelter and Housing Hotline: