The homeless community continues to become a rising issue. Whether you go downtown Olympia, or downtown Seattle, you are bound to run into it. 

What have been some of the primary reasons individual’s last resorts are to live out on the streets? Lack of affordable housing, mental illnesses, and substance abuse (drug/alcohol addiction). Olympia, along with Seattle, have had housing prices go up the past several years. Olympia’s cost of living is 4% higher than the national average, according to Washington State PayScale.

Seattle, around 70 miles away from our home city, is dealing with the same type of crisis. In Seattle, homelessness has gone up roughly 28% since 2017. According to Puget Sound Business Journal, the Seattle area spends around $1 billion a year trying to prevent homelessness. City Journal talks about how most homelessness in Seattle is dependent on addiction, crime, and tent encampments. 

There are multiple homeless shelters here in Olympia such as Interfaith Works Overnight Emergency Shelter on 701 Franklin St SE Olympia, WA, Pear Blossom Place on 837 7th Ave SE Olympia, WA, and SideWalk on 1139 5th Ave SE Olympia, WA 98501.

Some students say, “It can be a little alarming going downtown sometimes, especially at night.” While others say, “I feel kind of bad for those in that situation, I couldn’t even imagine what they’re going through.”