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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, May 22, 2006
Connie Rivera, capital finance manager, Office of Program and Budget Development, 709-3065

Forum on homelessness scheduled for June 6

OLYMPIA – An all-day forum aimed at reducing homelessness in Thurston County will take place Tuesday, June 6 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Olympia . Attendees will join workgroups addressing a wide range of issues, such as: community rest shelters, affordable housing, employment, mental illness, substance abuse, domestic violence, veterans housing, and housing for offenders. The event is sponsored by the Homeless Planning Workgroup, a subcommittee of the Thurston County Home Consortium.

The forum, entitled "Dream the Dream," will take place at 333 Kaiser Road N.W. in Olympia , the site of the Westwood Baptist Church .  The event is free and the public is invited to attend. To view the agenda and register, visit www.co.thurston.wa.us. To receive a registration form by mail instead, call 709-3065 or e-mail riverac@co.thurston.wa.us.  Participants are asked to register by Wednesday, May 31.

According to a Jan. 26 census by the Homeless Planning Workgroup:

  • 96 percent of homeless households cited poverty-related issues as reasons they became homeless.
  • 64 percent of homeless individuals reported having a disability.
  • 45 percent of homeless households became homeless since the last census in January 2005.
  • One in five homeless individuals were under the age of 18.
  • Less than 5 percent of homeless households last resided outside of Thurston County .
  • 39 percent of homeless individuals reported having a mental illness.
  • 30 percent of homeless individuals reported having alcohol or substance abuse problem.

The Homeless Planning Workgroup is a subcommittee of the Thurston County HOME Consortium, which consists of representatives from the cities of Lacey, Olympia , Tumwater, Rainier, Tenino and Yelm, and from the town of Bucoda and Thurston County .

County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3