These tough economic times have affected us all in one way or another, some of us worse than others. Many people have become homeless in these past few years due to the lack of jobs, disabilities etc. While there are homeless shelters in the Thurston County area, they are getting more and more crowded and cannot accommodate the high demand. Instead of condemning these people to sleep on the streets, the Panza Committee partnered with the City of Olympia to found Camp Quixote back in 2007.
According to their website, “Camp Quixote is a member-run democratic community.” The camp’s members live in a tent village that migrates roughly every ninety days to the grounds of various host facilities, primarily local churches. The Panza Committee aids the campers by providing various workshops on leadership, anger management, or general workplace knowledge which has helped many of the camp members to get back on their feet and into permanent, or low-income, housing.
Camp Quixote has become a safe haven for those with no access to homeless shelters, although, even though tarps and tents provide some shelter, it is not nearly enough for Washington’s winter weather conditions. Currently, Panza is working to acquire enough funding to begin construction on a permanent eco-village in the Olympia area in which to house its current and future residents. Similar villages have already been constructed in Seattle, Portland, and Miami. Therefore Panza plans to follow in their footsteps by providing Camp Quixote with a sedentary village of its own.
The Panza Committee is doing great work in running Camp Quixote, but they could use your help. You can make donations to their cause at their website, or, if you cannot donate money, there are plenty of ways to donate your time. On the volunteer page of their site, it details how you can get connected with the camp and take a shift visiting with, providing resources to, or helping out, the residents there. This is an excellent way to give back to your community and help people in need.
For information on how to volunteer, donate, or about Camp Quixote and Panza in general, visit the following links below.
To the Camp Quixote Homepage: http://sites.google.com/site/campquixoteoly/about
To the Panza Homepage:
For More information on Volunteering: http://sites.google.com/site/campquixoteoly/volunteer
Photo Credit: unkown: inform us so we can give proper credit if you know the author.
About the Author:
Morgan Forde is a local college student from Yelm, who plans to double-major in political science and journalism. She enjoys writing, reading novels, and spending quality time with her friends and family.