October 29, 2014
On Saturday night, Interfaith Works will open a new shelter for homeless women and men at First Christian Church in downtown Olympia. The shelter opening comes at a time when other shelter capacity has shrunk, so it is urgently needed.
For many years, church volunteers have staffed an 18-bed shelter for homeless women that moved from one church to another every two weeks. That shelter, which finally found a semi-permanent home at First Christian last year, wore out even its most dedicated volunteers. Bread and Roses, which sheltered a dozen severely mentally ill women, has also completely exhausted its volunteer staff, and has changed its mission.
Pat Gallaher is a homeless resident who helps clean up First Christian Church and surrounding properties in downtown Olympia. Gallaher said he lives in a patch of woods off Boulevard Road. STAFF PHOTO — The Olympia
Meg Martin, MSW, MHP, is the Shelter Program Director for The Interfaith Works Emergency Overnight Shelter.