Through the support and work of our volunteers and partners, we are able to provide essential services to people living unsheltered in our community, like garbage removal, supply and food distribution, garbage removal, and self-governance support.
Rolling Refuse Removal (RRR) is a service we provide and facilitate for local encampments. Volunteers meet up weekly and work with camp residents to bag and tow away trash. Volunteers and residents are provided with tongs, heavy duty garbage bags, and gloves to support the safe removal of trash. We provide orientation for new volunteers.
Mutual Aid Mondays (MAM), currently takes place at the Jungle encampment (on Martin Way across from Animal Services) every Monday evening from 4:30-6pm. At this weekly event, we provide food and supplies to camp residents, as well as a social space for housed and unhoused folks to get to know each other. The number of people we are able to serve is dependent on the donations we receive and the volunteers who help facilitate the event, so more support is always welcome!
During the COVID-19 crisis we are taking extra precautions so that our volunteers and encampment residents are practicing safe distancing measures while also receiving the services we provide.
Laundry Services are integral to supporting the health and well-being of those living unsheltered in our community. Our Laundry Fairies pick up dirty laundry from camp residents and take them to our Laundry Do-ers, then pick up the clean clothes and bring them back to their owners. OlyMAP provides orientation for volunteers and facilitates connections between volunteers and encampment residents in need of this service.
Propane services through OlyMAP are limited and depend largely on support from our partner organizations. Currently, with the financial and volunteer support of The United Churches of Olympia (TUCO) we help facilitate weekly propane service for residents of the Nickerson camp. At this time, we are unable to provide this support to other encampments. However your support and reoccurring donations could help us ensure that more people have access to safe cooking and heat.
Facilitating and Supporting Self-Governance and Community Relations at encampments is one of the most important services our staff provide. Upon request from residents, we support camps in developing and implementing self-governance rules and processes and are present as mediators during weekly meetings, as well as check in with the health of the camps, and address organizing challenges or changing needs and situations.
The Nickerson Camp & Shelter in Place projects
Our projects and services are based in a Shelter-in -Place philosophy towards encampments, best exemplified by our partnership with the Nickerson Camp. Between 2018-2020, the Nickerson Camp was supported through a partnership with The United Churches of Olympia and Just Housing Olympia. These groups worked with encampment residents to develop and facilitate self-governance rules and processes and to provide health and safety support like propane, laundry, garbage removal, and survival supplies. When OlyMAP was created in 2020, we took over JHO’s role in supporting the encampment. This project has helped to ensure that the 13 residents of the Nickerson Camp have a stable and safer place to shelter themselves, which has enabled a number of the residents to better access and maintain social services, to find and maintain work, and pursue other goals that improve their personal well-being and quality of life.
Sweep support for encampment residents
Whenever an encampment is cleared or relocated, support is needed to ensure that the encampment residents and their belongings are kept safe. OlyMAP provides support to encampments that are being cleared or re-located, by helping to connect residents to resources, social services, shelters, and other camping locations and by organizing volunteers to assist residents on moving day with packing, transportation, supplies, storage, and other needed supports.