OLYMPIA – The National Weather Service has issued a forecast for potential snow and below freezing nighttime weather patterns in the Puget Sound area over the next ten days. In response, Thurston County Public Health and Social Services is issuing a "Hazardous Weather" advisory to increase shelter capacity beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, January 13, and extending through 7:00 a.m. on Friday, January 17.
County, city, and local advocacy and non-profit organizations have been working together as the Hazardous Weather Task Force (HWTF) to address harsh weather conditions and its effects on vulnerable unsheltered populations. The HWTF developed the hazardous weather response model to be enacted during extremely cold or hazardous weather conditions.
During a hazardous weather response, organizations, including HWTF members, take special measures to keep people who are homeless safe by expanding shelter services to accommodate the increased need. In addition, the HWTF is empowered to distribute shelter-in-place supplies, such as blankets and water, to those in the homeless community who are unable to leave their location.
During this hazardous weather activation period, shelter options are available at the Salvation Army, 808 5th St. SE Olympia for single men and women. Family Support Center's Pear Blossom Place, 837 7th Ave. SE, Olympia, is available for families with children needing shelter and Community Youth Services, 520 Pear Street SE, Olympia, is available for youth ages 18-24.
Volunteers, as well as donations of blankets, coffee, creamer, cup of soups, and other snacks are needed. For volunteer opportunities, please email Keylee Marineau at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit: https://www.iwshelter.org/code-blue.html.
For more information about homelessness in Thurston County, visit: https://www.thurstoncountywa.gov/bocc/Pages/homelessness.aspx.