[Hpn] seattletimes.com: Olympia tent city for homeless marks first year

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Olympia tent city for homeless marks first year
Full story: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004161065_tentcity03.html

By The Olympian




OLYMPIA -- Camp Quixote, a tent city for the homeless that began illegally on city property but now is celebrated by city leaders, marked its first anniversary Friday.

Some of the 18 residents of the camp's current home at First Christian Church came to the Olympia Center to share a meal and reminisce.

The camp is a "safe place to stay after losing a 23-year marriage," said Ani Otto, one of three original camp residents.

It started on a city-owned lot as a protest of the city's then-new Pedestrian Interference Ordinance, which bans sitting on parts of downtown sidewalks.

Police evicted the camp, and it moved to property owned by Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation, followed by United Churches of Olympia, St. John's Episcopal Church, First United Methodist Church and First Christian.

Randy Williams, an original tent-city member, said about 25 former camp residents have moved on to permanent housing.

Others have found work.

The Olympia and Tumwater city councils voted unanimously in July to recognize tent cities, as long as they are under the auspices of a church or other religious group and follow certain guidelines.





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