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Services & Projects

Through the support and work of our staff, volunteers and partners, we are able to provide essential services to people living unsheltered in our community, including case management, site support, and self-governance services.

Projects

New Hope

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Nickerson

Our projects and services are based in a Shelter-in-Place philosophy towards encampments, best exemplified by our partnership with the Nickerson Camp. When OlyMAP was created in 2020, we took over JHO’s role in supporting the encampment. 2020-present Nickerson Camp is supported through a partnership with The United Churches of Olympia (United) and OlyMAP. 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.

This project has helped to ensure that the 20 residents of the Nickerson Camp have a stable and safer place to shelter themselves, which has enabled several 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. The United Churches of Olympia has also funded and build MicroHomes for all Residents of Nickerson that folks, effectively making Nickerson the first self-made Tiny-Home Village in Olympia.

Right of Way (RoW)

RoW is the response to encampments along the I-5 Freeway and working towards getting houseless folks into shelters. OlyMAP is currently in charge of the By-Name List and is working with houseless neighbors along the freeways into the type of housing they would prefer. This project involves non-profits, Washington State Department of Transportation and the cities of Olympia and Lacey.

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Services

Case Management

OlyMAP’s case management services are Participant lead and at the pace that Participants set. Mobile Case Workers (MCWs) support OlyMAP’s case management program by providing on-site and outreach-based social service connection support to the houseless residents living at the camp communities we are contracted to work with, with the aim of supporting individuals in reaching their personal goals and self-identified needs related to housing placement and connection to other social, health, and stability services. Each MCW is assigned to one contracted site as their primary camp to work with for consistent support. MCWs work closely with other OlyMAP workers and Leads to support and coordinate services, safety, and stability for all residents living at contracted sites.

Site Support

Site Support is dedicated to supporting camps with supplies, self-governance/collective management support and facilitating connections between camps and the broader community. OlyMAP has identified different Tiers of Site Support based on how much autonomy a camp is granted by governing entities. Site Support Workers (SSWs) assist our contracted camp communities to improve site safety and stability, as well as conflict resolution among residents and between residents and broader community. SSWs serve as on-site support for camp residents and much of their work will take place at local encampments. Each SSW will work under and with the Site Support Lead and work closely with other OlyMAP workers to support and coordinate services, safety, and stability for all residents living at contracted sites.

Facilitating and Supporting Self-Governance and Community Relations

Facilitating camp governance structures 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.

Currently our Self-Governance Support is being utilized by Nickerson Encampment and New Hope. Residents have weekly meetings facilitated by an OlyMAP staff and support Residents in constructing self-identified goals, responsibilities, and direction of the camp.

Self-governance cannot take place is a camp is under threat of a sweep (forcible removal of a camp). A factor of this is a camp having relationships with it’s neighbors and near by stakeholders. OlyMAP can

Sweep support for encampment residents

OlyMAP believes that camps and individuals should be able to Shelter in Place until housing becomes available and that this approach is rooted in Best Practices and Harm Reduction. OlyMAP can coordinate with camps to provide limited advocacy support during a forced sweep. Social services are legally restricted from providing most types of activism and advocacy. However, OlyMAP can work with camps and individuals to find routes of advocacy that are legal in the hopes of staying sweeps or other forceful measures against camps and individuals.

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.