The last few weeks has brought an incredible amount of attention to our efforts at Quixote Village. It began with articles in The Daily Olympian, soon after the residents of Camp Quixote became villagers (http://www.theolympian.com/2013/12/31/2908856/camp-quixote-reaches-a-major-milestone.html), and the story was then picked up by The Seattle Times and its affiliates. Stories in Seattle’s homeless publication, Real Change (http://realchangenews.org/index.php/site/archives/8561) and even South Puget Sound’s student paper, The Sounds, followed.
But the piece that has unleashed a flood of attention appeared just days ago in The New York Times. Back in January, journalist Michael Tortorello spent three days in Olympia, interviewing many of the people who were key in making Quixote Village possible: state and local elected officials, members of Panza, Village staff. But he spent by far the most time with villagers, and the result, published in the Home section of The Times on February 20th, was a tour de force. You can find his piece at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/20/garden/small-world-big-idea.html?ref=garden.
The New York Times article has elicited a flood of calls, emails and Facebook queries that shows no signs of abating. Yesterday resident John Waddley and Panza Board member Jill Severn made a cameo appearance on MSNBC’s Weekends with Alex Witt (http://www.msnbc.com/weekends-alex-witt/watch/village-provides-housing-for-homeless-165362243877), and CBS Evening News has indicated interest.
Along with this attention from the Fourth Estate has come queries from locations near and far where local folks and their elected officials are trying to come to terms with issues of poverty and homelessness–Seattle, the East Side of Lake Union, Eugene, Lancaster and Santa Cruz in California, Grays Harbor County in Washington State, Ann Arbor, Prince Georges County in Maryland, and more. It is both comforting and a shock to know that so many other communities are faced with the same issues as we are.