Interfaith Works Emergency Overnight Shelter
701 Franklin St SE
Olympia, WA 98501
(Entrance is under the stairs.)
We do not answer the phone before 4pm. If you need to get in touch, please leave a message anytime and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
What to Expect as a Guest
Our shelter is different from a lot of shelters. We accept everyone as you are and we do whatever we can to not kick people out.
Sometimes it’s quiet, sometimes it’s loud, sometimes people are under the influence or having mental health crises, sometimes we do things that guests don’t agree with and we always try to listen and learn from our mistakes.
We believe that everyone deserves second, third, fourth, tenth chances and try to accommodate and welcome every person who comes through our doors regardless of their circumstance.
Missing a Night?
Tell us if you're going to be late.
Frequently Asked Questions
WHO STAYS AT THE SHELTER?
We prioritize sheltering people who are over 50, and have difficulty accessing other services because of age, physical health, physical disability, mental health and substance use challenges.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ASSIGNED BEDS AND A ONE-NIGHT STAY?
- The shelter has a permit for 42 people. We assign 37 beds at a time and reserve 5 beds for night-to-night lottery beds to give more opportunity to people.
- One-night stay beds are assigned on a lottery system each night (5:15pm for women and couples, 7:15pm for men).
HOW DO I GET AN ASSIGNED BED?
- We assign beds based on need according to the vulnerability assessment. The assessment is a 15 minute interview that asks questions about your history of homelessness, medical needs, social behaviors, and substance use.
- We use the assessment so we can be as objective and fair in assigning our shelter beds according to highest need.
- If more than one person has the same assessment outcome, we use a lottery system to assign the bed.
- We also take into consideration current crises or high risk medical emergencies.
HOW OFTEN DO BEDS OPEN UP?
- We have an open ended length of stay policy, which means that our beds only open when guests move into housing or leave the shelter for other reasons.
- On average, a bed opens up about once a month.
HOW DO I GET ON THE WAITLIST?
By completing a vulnerability assessment at the shelter or Sidewalk. Be sure to provide us with contact info so we can get in touch with you if you we assign you a bed.
HOW LONG IS THE WAITLIST?
There are currently over 800 people on our waitlist. This is because our waitlist includes every person who has done an assessment since November 2014. Keep in mind the waitlist is ordered according to need. It is not first come, first served. Many people on our waitlist are no longer in need of a shelter bed.
HOW DO I FIND OUT WHERE I AM ON THE WAITLIST?
- We update the waitlist about every two weeks, or as needed when a bed is going to open up.
- You can ask at the front desk, or call us at (360) 918-8424 to see if you are likely to be in the lottery for the next assigned bed.
- Remember the waitlist is always changing based on need. This is why your number on the list may change.
- Keep in touch with us regularly, let us know how things are going for you and make sure we always know how to contact you in case an assigned bed becomes available for you.