The temporary tent city for the homeless, known as Camp Quixote, may have a permanent home soon.
Thurston County Commissioners are working on a plan to build a homeless village on a permanent location. Working with a group called PANZA the commissioners have identified five sites around the county where a permanent homeless village could be located. The preferred site is in the Mottman Industrial Park at 3400 25th Ave SW.
As envisioned, a permanent building would be constructed housing a kitchen, showers, bathrooms, laundry facilities and a social space. Around the building would be constructed 25-30 semi-permanent units. The county is currently involved in a design competition for the main building and will be unveiling the design concept shortly.
Each of the semi-permanent units would cost about $5000 to build. The county currently has money for three units and is looking for grants and donations to build additional units.
Commissioner Cathy Wolfe said they have no idea if the traveling homeless encampment will continue but that they would like to have the faith community continue its involvement. “We need them badly,” she said.
Since constructing a permanent homeless encampment is not covered by current city ordinances, Olympia will need to modify its ordinance to allow such a facility. “That may be an opportunity for people to have input,” said county Chief Administrative Office Don Krupp.