- This event has passed.
Jingle Cleanup 2: Jingle Strikes Back!
January 27 @ 9:00 am - January 28 @ 5:00 pm PST
The Jungle, known to some of its residents as the Jungle of Hope, is home to between 150 and 200 people living in a wooded area between Pacific Avenue and Martin Way. It is Olympia’s largest encampment of houseless community members, including people who have lived there for years and others who have relocated there quite recently after camp removals elsewhere.
Sometime in November, in response to an uptick in complaints from nearby businesses, the city sent courtesy notices to at least two of the three property owners informing them of an unauthorized encampment on their property and requesting that they take steps to resolve this municipal code violation. Although courtesy notices have historically led to the removal of targeted encampments, the city has assured us that it is not planning such a removal and that the next step is up to the property owners, who
have asked the city for more time to figure out how to proceed.
In the meantime, Just Housing, a local advocacy group made up of houseless community members and housed allies, has been communicating with the city, the property owners, area businesses, and Jungle residents in an effort to find a compassionate path forward that would delay any removal of residents from the camp until they have a safe and legal alternative to which they can relocate, or until the end of winter.
In mid-December, as a good faith gesture to the property owners, between 50 and 60 housed volunteers and Jungle residents worked together during the two-day ”Jingle of Hope” event to remove over eight tons of garbage and 700+ sharps from the southern half of the wooded area, and to return about 150 shopping carts to the appropriate businesses. Originally the brainstorm of a Jungle resident, this inspiring event was co-organized and supported by a number of local organizations, local businesses, and numerous individuals.
One Jungle resident reported afterward that the level of visible community support and the significant improvement of conditions in the woods had transformed many people’s skepticism to, “When can we do this again?” The answer to that question is SOON! At the end of January, prepare for Episode 2: Jingle Strikes Back!
Our coalition of local groups, including the Socialist Party USA, Just Housing, and the residents of the Jungle of Hope will join forces again in another collaborative cleanup effort, this time focusing our efforts on the north end of the site. From 9 AM to 5 PM on Saturday and Sunday, January 27th and 28th, we will be bagging trash and taking loads to the dump. In anticipation of our efforts, Jungle residents will be bagging trash in advance in sealed heavy duty trash bags so they will be ready for collection when volunteers arrive.
We are hoping to recruit volunteers with trucks who will be available to transport garbage-filled bags to the dump as they accumulate, in addition to being available during the weekend event. This will be especially important if we are unable to secure a dumpster or drop box location along Martin Way. Please contact us if you have a truck and would be willing to help us transport bagged garbage to the dump. You will be reimbursed for your dump fees. You can contact us at Justhousingolympia@gmail.com
Please include your name, phone number, type of vehicle, and approximate times available (or not) to help us arrange for transporting bagged garbage to the dump when needed.
We will provide sharps containers and grabbers from Thurston County Needle Exchange. If you have your own containers, grabbers/pliers, trash bags, and gloves to use on site, that would be extremely helpful. Be sure to wear weather-appropriate clothing, thick gloves, heavy boots/pants/coats, and not to handle sharps unless you are trained. We will have a liability form for you to complete upon arrival.
If you would like to make a donation towards purchasing cleanup supplies and reimbursement for dump runs, please use the Just Housing PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/justhousing Check the Just Housing FB page https://www.facebook.com/JustHousingOly/ for updates, meeting times and locations, upcoming actions, and information about how you can support our houseless community members.
Please share this event with others who would like to make a tangible difference for our houseless friends and neighbors, public health and safety, and building cooperative community in Olympia! Thank you!