Submitted by Thurston County Board of Commissioners 

The National Weather Service is showing additional cold weather in the Puget Sound area through Saturday, February 24. On Wednesday, February 21, Thurston County extended the initial activation of a “Code Blue” advisory through Thursday, February 22. Due to continuing cold weather patterns, Thurston County Public Health and Social Services is extending the “Code Blue” advisory to increase shelter capacity through Saturday, February 24, 2018.

During this code blue activation period, expanded shelter options are available at Salvation Army and Union Gospel Mission for single men and women. In addition, First Christian Church in partnership with Interfaith Works will offer extra shelter capacity. First Christian Church is in need of volunteers and donations of blankets, coffee, creamer, cup of soups, and other snacks. Items can be dropped off at First Christian Church upstairs after 6:00 p.m. Please call or email Faith Addicott at 360-709-2679, or faddicot@ci.olympia.wa.us, if you are interested in volunteering. Family Support Center’s Pear Blossom Place is available for families with children needing shelter and Community Youth Services is available for youth ages 18-24.

Background

County, city, and local advocacy and non-profit organizations have been working together as the Hazardous Weather Task Force (HWTF) for the past six months to develop a plan to address harsh weather conditions and the effects on vulnerable unsheltered populations. The HWTF developed the “code blue” model to be enacted during extremely cold or hazardous weather conditions. During a “code blue”, organizations, including HWTF members, take special measures to keep people who are homeless safe by expanding shelter services to accommodate the increased need. The HWTF will assess the model used during this event to enhance the response in future events.

For more shelter information, call Thurston County’s Coordinated Entry Shelter and Housing Hotline at 1-844-628-7343.

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