Submitted by Thurston County

The National Weather Service has issued a forecast for below freezing weather patterns mixed with snow flurries in the Puget Sound through Sunday, February 14. This frigid weather and potential of snow is dangerous for those without shelter. Therefore, Thurston County has declared a four-night Hazardous Weather Event, tomorrow through Sunday.

During this unusual cold weather, Thurston County Homeless Service Providers and City of Olympia staff will provide multiple options for individuals living outside to get warm.

  • Overnight Shelter Beds: Following COVID-19 safety protocols, 12-15 extra cold weather shelter beds will be available at First Christian Church on Wednesday, Feb. 10 and remain available until 8 a.m. Sunday morning, February 14.
  • Day-Time Warming Activities: A daytime warming center will be available from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10 through Friday, February 12.
  • Increased Shelter-In-Place Outreach Activities: Partners in Prevention Education outreach staff will be providing increased distribution of survival supplies to individuals and families living in encampments.

“Typically, during a Hazardous Weather Event, we would be able to offer significant expansion in emergency shelter beds,” said Keylee Marineau, the Homeless Prevention Coordinator for Thurston County Public Health and Social Services. “The Homeless Crisis Response System shelters are still operating with COVID-19 safety practices in place. We are so grateful for our partner’s willingness to offer safe options for unsheltered folks, given the limitations of COVID-19. It is imperative, with freezing temperatures and snow flurries on the horizon, we do what we can to keep people safe.”

Emergency Shelter Beds nightly from 6 p.m. – 8 a.m. Wednesday, February 10 – Sunday, February 14 will be available for up to 15 single adults without children, pending appropriate staffing levels. Please email Keylee.Marineau@co.thurston.wa.us for more information.

Additional cold weather shelter options are available at Union Gospel Mission for single adults. Family Support Center’s Pear Blossom Place is available for families with children seeking shelter and Community Youth Services is available for youth ages 18-24.

For more information on available shelters, contact the Thurston County Shelter Hotline at 1-844-628-7343.

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