Thurston County Response Regarding Incident at Red Lion Inn in Downtown Olympia on Sunday, January 31
OLYMPIA – Thurston County Public Health and Social Services learned of the situation at the Red Lion Inn in downtown Olympia, and of the protester’s demands, on Sunday, January 31.
In partnership with the City of Olympia, Keylee Marineau, Thurston County Homeless Prevention and Affordable Housing Coordinator, spoke with organizers on Sunday about their demands.
Public Health and Social Services Director Schelli Slaughter said, “It is very challenging to face a homeless crisis and public health pandemic emergency at the same time. People are becoming desperate to meet their basic needs.” Slaughter added, “We are looking to find new solutions and resources in collaboration with our regional partners. We will continue to provide staff support to this situation and identify additional ways to support the needs of our most vulnerable residents.”
Thurston County Manager Ramiro Chavez stated, “We take seriously the harm that may have been caused to all impacted by this direct action. This includes the hotel, its staff, and registered guests. We are working to ensure those impacted receive support.”
Thurston County has provided more than 12 million dollars in funding to support the homeless crisis response in the last year and another 4.8 million dollars in rental assistance to struggling households. In addition, the county is studying the possible availability of FEMA funding for homeless shelters as identified in the President Biden’s January 21st executive order.