A wreath on the front door is a holiday tradition for many homes this time of the year. In the coming days, some unlikely decorators hope to use the greens to promote new understanding for those living on the streets.
The group has their work space in a downtown Olympia tent camp, creating dozens of unique decorations. Walker Stephens is one of the people who started the project.
“Ho-Ho-Hobos is the name of our group,” he explained. “Ho-Ho-Hobos started four years ago and our mission is to provide jobs on the street and connections in the community and we do this by making wreaths.”
The money from wreath sales goes to help those living on the streets. But this is about helping in another way as well.
“The street community is incredibly hard-working and there is so much energy and strength trying to advocate for themselves and this is providing another too to do that.”
Josie was one of several in the group who went out to sell the wreaths.
“It gives people a chance to work, earn, provide for themselves to give back to the community and that's really important,” Josie said.
They're grateful for all the financial support but say this is about changing hearts and minds.
“Hopefully, we get people to look at the problem a different way,” Damien Barnwell explained.
Barnwel said he hopes people look beyond the tents and labels and realize that those without a place to live are people with significant value.
“There’s a lot of bright, powerful individuals who come by the stand every day there’s a lot of valuable people who show up in amazing ways.”
The Ho Ho Hobos will be selling their wreaths near the food trucks at Fourth and Plum on weekdays and behind Eagen's drive-in on weekends. They usually ask for a donation between $20-25.
For more information visit their Facebook page.