Frustrations flared Tuesday at the Olympia City Council meeting as the issue of homelessness causes more anger in that community.
The fight has already been to court with a judge issuing a temporary ruling telling the city not to allow any more people to move into a city-sponsored tent camp.
There's no doubt the homeless camp has become a very divisive issue. Businesses owners told the City Council Tuesday that they were concerned for their businesses and the safety of their employees.
Attorney Jeanette Laffoon said she’s shared her concerns with the council several times.
“We care about our homeless neighbors and would like to help,” said Laffoon. “The problem is, we can't help if we're out of business.”
Laffoon serves people with disabilities and says some of her clients are afraid to come to her office. She estimates she's lost more than 30 percent of her business.
“Your most recent idea of giving away $100,000 worth of tents is idiotic, it’s crazy,” Laffoon told city leaders.
Todd Wagner's family has run Wagner’s Bakery in Olympia for 80 years. He said he's never seen it this bad.
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“I am disgusted by what we encounter every day,” he said.
Wagner and Laffoon were among several business owners who addressed
the council during Tuesday’s meeting.
Councilmembers applauded business owners for speaking out and said extra police have been added to downtown streets to make up for security officers who recently pulled out of working in that area. Several said it was important to move forward to need to move forward with their plan to address the homeless crisis.
There was nothing specific on the agenda regarding the tent camp. Both sides return to court on December 21.