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Outreach Programs

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Safer Spaces Outreach and Advocacy Program (SSOAP)

Advocacy and Supplies

The Safer Spaces Outreach and Advocacy Program (SSOAP) aims to help decrease encampment fires, the burning of noxious garbage, and other concerns related to unsafe burning practices within encampments in Olympia, WA. This program was first conceptualized after meeting with the Olympic Regional Clean Air Agency (ORCAA), who were receiving complaints related to trash burning and fire concerns originating from various encampments in Thurston County. OlyMAP partnered with ORCAA and created a program to help address these concerns by providing support to camps through trash removal, provision of supplies to encourage safer burning practices, and alternative methods of finding warmth while living unsheltered. OlyMAP does outreach to several camps in Olympia to distribute and provide safe warming supplies such as tent-safe heaters, propane and associated materials, tents, sleeping bags, and even firewood as well as assist with clean burning. Also, SSOAP workers provide weekly meals and frequently assist with garbage removal from camps, which helps decrease the incidence and frequency of garbage burning. There are many more participants who need help to stay warm this winter, far beyond what OlyMAP can provide. The SSOAP team is currently looking for any donations to help them provide more supplies and support to individuals living unsheltered, especially as we are in the cold months of the year.

Rights of Way Initiative (RoW)

Advocacy and Relocation Support

In June of 2022, Washington state legislators released a plan to respond to the “phenomena” of unsheltered homelessness and camp communities along the I-5 corridor and Rights of ways (RoWs). Funding was allocated to five different counties, including Thurston County, to create additional shelter and housing options for individuals living in camp communities living on RoWs, and provide move-in support for relocating camp residents. While the RoW project has evolved over time, OlyMAP’s role has stayed the same—to provide advocacy and support to participants to help maximize their success of getting into housing and staying in housing.

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Our Work In Action

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