Exploring the intersection of public space and homelessness


Episode 29: Paul Simmons and Sylvana Niehuser


On today’s episode I wanted to move the conversation away from the big cities and talk about how homelessness impacts some of the smaller communities that may fly under the radar in our national dialogue. In Olympia, Washington, which lies roughly half-way between Seattle and Portland, the city’s Parks and Recreation staff are, like so many other parks departments, becoming the front line in confronting homelessness in their community. Recently, Olympia’s Parks Director Paul Simmons and Sylvana Niehuser who Oversees Stewardship and Environmental Programs, were able to sit down with me and discuss how homelessness has impacted their community and what their agency is doing to confront the crisis with compassion.