Homelessness today carries an undeserved social stigma that is difficult to overcome. It is because of this specious perception that those who find themselves without proper shelter are relegated to a dark and inhospitable environment. The issue transcends quantitative description; the access to quality shelter for everyone is the issue at hand. As the CIRAL task cluster dedicated to the fight against homelessness on and off campus our mission is to identify local allies within the community, and to strengthen the communication networks between these local organizations and The Evergreen State College. Through active communication and participation, we aim to minimize the homeless population at the college and elsewhere through resource definition and support. By maximizing awareness and resource availability we strive to support others in working to provide social equity across demographic groups within the student body and the greater Olympia community.
Our primary goal for 2012 is to carry out a survey of Evergreen's homeless student population, and to make this information available to future students in an effort to build a statistically relevant database upon which resources can be defined and distributed. The survey and follow-up report will be made available to oncoming CIRAL participants in the hopes that they will carry out similar surveys of the Evergreen student body.
Some of the members of the CIRAL vs. homelessness cluster will be working with Anna Schlect, the Programs Housing Manager at The City of Olympia, on the production of the 2012 Thurston County Homeless Census Report. These informal internships with the City of Olympia will consist of work on the report itself, as well as work on integrating upcoming TESC Homelessness Surveys into the Thurston County Censuses.