Friday, February 09, 2007

Church offers space to Camp Quixote

A church is stepping in to head off a showdown between the city of Olympia, Washington, and a group of homeless campers who set up a tent camp on a downtown city lot.

The Universalist Unitarian Congregation has volunteered to allow campers on its grounds under a few conditions. The church wants to run background checks to make sure there are no sex offenders in the group. The church also wants campers to agree to abide by the church's rules. The two groups are finalizing negotiations.

"If the church says yes, then we're going to pack up tomorrow morning and move to the church grounds. If the church says no, then I assume the police will be called in, probably tomorrow morning," said Rob Richards, a homeless advocate.

The city insists the illegal camping has to end. The city says it does nothing to solve the homeless problem, polarizes the community and makes real solutions harder to find. But the campers say if the church does not work out, they won't go away without putting up a fight.

Read more -- and watch a KOMO video report -- here.

Also posting on this: Squatter City. If you haven't checked out this blog, you've missed an enlightening perspective on homeless issues. You'll learn about the vibrant and energetic -- but horribly misunderstood -- squatter communitites in other countries around the world.


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