Plans for the homeless: Why not here, Governor?


I noted that Governor Inslee traveled north to Seattle on Tuesday, March 21 to tour the remains of a homeless encampment under the First Avenue Bridge.

While in Seattle and surrounded by his entourage, he talked about his plans for housing the homeless.

But he didn’t have to travel so far.   All he had to do was walk out of his residence and into downtown Olympia.  Not only would he have saved the taxpayers’ the cost of his travel, but he would have also cut down on his carbon emissions.

While walking around downtown, he would have met and talked with some of the homeless.

For instance, he might have met Don and Rebecca (pictured above) who as of this morning, Thursday, March 23, 2023, were living in front of a building on the corner of 5th Avenue NW and Water Steet NW. 

They told me they have been homeless for over a year, that the Olympia Union Gospel Mission is not safe, that they did not understand why it is so hard to get help, and that they did not know where they would go next.

“We need help,” Don said to me.

I see no reason why they would not have told Governor Inslee the same thing.  And the experience of meeting some of the people he wants to help could have been beneficial.

While in Seattle, the Governor said, “It’s hard to get help with a blue tarp over your head.”

It’s also hard to help those who need help when the Governor, who lives just down the street, would rather be in Seattle for a photo-op.

JM Simpson is a veteran photojournalist who lives in Lacey.

The opinions above are, of course, those of the writer and not of The JOLT. Got something you want to get off your chest? Post your comment below, or write it up and send it to us. We'll likely run it the same day we get it. 


7 comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • Eickholt

    The most important contribution to homelessness isn’t often discussed. The American style of Capitalism doesn’t work for everyone.

    Thursday, March 23, 2023 Report this

  • FordPrefect

    Comrade Eickholt,

    You're right, capitalism doesn’t work great for those who choose not to work. You’re also welcome to travel to China, North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba or Laos to observe the alternative.

    “It was patriotism, not communism, that inspired me.”

    Ho Chi Minh

    Friday, March 24, 2023 Report this

  • olyhiker

    Why are we expected to provide housing for those who choose not to work?

    Friday, March 24, 2023 Report this

  • Southsoundguy

    Did the author ask Don and Rebecca what help the needed specifically? Or how they came to be homeless?

    Friday, March 24, 2023 Report this

  • Seth682

    Don and Rebecca look like drug addicts. Perhaps that’s a factor.

    Friday, March 24, 2023 Report this

  • JMSimpson

    Miller19: Two very good questions. I did ask about their homelessness situation; however, Don did not answer me. He did, however, talk about wanting help, particularly for his wife who has an intellectual disability.

    Seth682: I don't know if drugs play a role in their situation; this is a possibility. To you they look like "drug addicts," to me they looked and sounded like two human beings in need of help - something Don clearly stated.

    Friday, March 24, 2023 Report this

  • pbaron1902

    A lot of oversimplification going on here. There are a number of causes for homelessness. Until we get a handle on those causes and figure out ways to deal with them, talk is just that - talk. Addiction and/or mental illness cannot be treated the same as a simple wish not to work. If I had the answers, I'd be shouting them out!

    Friday, March 24, 2023 Report this