Olympia's Homeless or At-Risk Students

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Prepared by Laura Minor

Submitted to Douglas Schuler

Civic Intelligence: Theory and Practice

Case Study: Homeless Education

Week 8, Wednesday, 5/18/2011



The main hope of a nation lies in the proper education of its youth. ~Desiderius Erasmus
Homelessness is becoming increasingly evident in today’s society. Many of the homeless population is made up of a communities youth. Homeless children are amongst the most vulnerable in our country. In our local community, the Olympia school district had four hundred fifty seven documented students that had no place to call home in the 2009-2010 school year.

What’s being done to ensure the education of our local communities' youth? As a community, are we doing our part to ensure the strength of our nation?


  • Orientation - describes the purpose, principles and perspectives that help energize an effective deployment of civic intelligence.
  • Organization - refers to the structures, methods and roles by which people engage in civic intelligence.
The Welcome Room is a program designed to assist homeless and at-risk students and their families within the Olympia School District. The program serves approximately 500 homeless students every school year. The Welcome Room is housed at Madison Elementary School, although it supports every school in the Olympia School District.
  • Engagement - refers to the ways in which civic intelligence is an active force for thought, action, and social change.
The Welcome Room requests community involvement. It is critical to the students and program. They strongly encourage the community to get involved with fundraisers and donate items from the Wish List to help the students and families in need.

The Wish List Items include...

    • Miniature First Aid kit
    • Laundry detergent/quarters
    • Deodorant
    • Toothbrush/toothpaste
    • Head lice kits/combs
    • Combs/brushes
    • Soap
    • Shampoo/conditioner
    • Disposable razor
    • Panty liners
    • Lotion
    • Gently used children/teen clothes and shoes
    • Toys/books

They hold monthly fundraisers, such as canned food, toilet paper, umbrella and penny drives.

    • Support and counseling to assist parents in meeting their childrens needs.
    • Preschool program for four and fiveyear-olds.

  • Intelligence - refers to the ways that civic intelligence lives up to its name.

The Welcome Room offers the following programs to help remove many of the barriers homelessness causes, with regard to cultivating our youths education.

    • A before-school group specifically designed to reduce stress and prepare children for the school day.
    • Tutoring, academic support and academic monitoring.
    • After school Homework Club and enrichment programs including meals, field trips and other activities.
    • Guidance with community resources.
    • School supplies and clothes for students as they need them.
    • Breakfast and lunch.
  • Products & Projects - refers to some of the outcomes, both long-term and incremental, that civic intelligence might produce.
Programs offered by the Welcome Room that will
  • Resources - refers to the types of support that people and institutions engaged in civic intelligence work need.
What support do our homeless children need?


Conclusions go here

Pattern Language Association

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  • SeeMe Modeling -- First draft


  • What weaknesses do I see in the organizations?