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Mask magazine

If you've spent any time in downtown Olympia, you’ll know there's a large community of people that hang out on the street all year round by our famous Artesian Well. All kinds of people come to chill here, it's like the wall ball court in elementary school.

Many people complain about the large population of street kids, and that they don't feel safe filling up their water jugs at the well anymore. These are usually the same people that refer to downtown as a dirty needle-ridden hellhole. Meanwhile, others invest their time in responding to the core issues of the downtown area to make it a more habitable place for all. There are businesses that come together to form cleaning parties on the weekends. I’ve seen a couple guys handing out PBJs at the well (quality PBJs btw, no wonder bread-type shit!). I’ve met a man who collects coins downtown and puts them in all the expired meters (my hero!). There's another guy who carries around a broom and is constantly sweeping (he accepts tips!). A lot of people are getting very creative to help out where the City of Olympia can't or won't.

Another radical service in downtown Olympia is EGYHOP – a volunteer-based anarchist street outreach program that inhabits downtown Olympia seven nights a week, 365 days a year. I interviewed Meg Martin, volunteer for EGYHOP for six years, in hopes of learning more about de-centralized organizing, the state of homelessness in downtown, and ways you can contribute to their organization.

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