Judge halts Olympia homeless camp, but some campers can stay

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A Thurston County judge has halted plans for Olympia’s first city-sanctioned homeless camp — but the dozens of campers already there can stay, at least for now.

Judge James Dixon granted a temporary restraining order sought by downtown business owners who argued the camp violates the city’s own law on emergency housing. The judge will hear more evidence before issuing a permanent ruling.

The camp opened at a city-owned parking lot Monday morning, with people moving in before the judge made his ruling.

The city declared a public health emergency last summer, as an estimated 300 tents were scattered in downtown Olympia. Officials hoped the new camp would help transition people to a safer environment. The new encampment has a fenced perimeter and room for about 100 tents.

The city said the camp is not a perfect solution, but it’s a start.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.