The Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation’s June 2015 TV program provides fresh insights into the realities experienced by young people who spend a lot of time downtown. We debunk the myths and offer constructive ways for our local community to address problems and include everyone.
While this program focuses especially on young people, much of our conversation will pertain also to people of other ages whom we see downtown.
The most common way that governments and social service agencies deal with disadvantaged people is from the top down. In contrast, all three of our guests on this TV program practice solidarity with the people they serve. They create a strong interview by sharing their humane concerns, extensive experience, and important insights:
• Cole Ketcherside is Program Coordinator for the Street Outreach Program of Community Youth Services. Cole has provided a variety of direct services for at-risk young people, and has been doing outreach in Olympia since 2004. Cole has a relevant bachelor’s degree and is working on a Master’s degree.
• long hair david came to Olympia in 1991 after release from prison and lived in a halfway house. In Olympia he has accomplished a lot of very positive things for our local community. He started new groups, including EGYHOP (the Emma Goldman Youth and Homeless Outreach Project), and Books to Prisoners. He is widely respected and appreciated by many people, including me.
• Meg Martin is the Program Director for the Emergency Overnight Shelter operated by Interfaith Works of Thurston County. This new shelter is located at First Christian Church, 7th & Franklin. Meg has a Master’s Degree in Social Work and seven years of experience doing street outreach, including providing mental health services.