3 Kitsap leaders win awards for work with homeless

The Kitsap Housing and Homelessness Coalition recently recognized three county leaders for their commitment and innovative approaches in addressing homelessness.

Charlotte Garrido won the Elected Official Award. The county commissioner, with her background in urban planning and community organization, has spearheaded initiatives aimed at enhancing workforce training programs and seeking solutions for housing individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

Doug Washburn won the Community Impact Award. He is director of Kitsap County Human Services. With extensive experience in public sector budgeting, policy development and strategic planning, Washburn has played a pivotal role in advancing initiatives to support vulnerable populations.

Jarrod Moran won Exceptional Service by a Staff Member. He is former coordinator of the county’s Homeless Encampment Action Response and Transitions team. The HEART Program, launched in April 2022, ensures a coordinated and compassionate response to unauthorized homeless encampments on county property.

In 2019, the county adopted a comprehensive Homeless Crisis & Housing Response plan to reduce homelessness through an efficient response system, that includes five goals: making homelessness rare through prevention strategies; ensuring it is brief via crisis response tactics; promoting one-time occurrences by ensuring long-term housing stability; enhancing the homeless response system’s capacity and efficiency, and broadening community engagement.

Most recently, Garrido, Washburn and the county’s Human Services staff have been leading efforts to construct a new, first-of-its-kind, congregate co-shelter facility in the Mile Hill area of South Kitsap. The Pacific Building is slated to provide temporary housing for 75 people and their companion animals, along with wrap-around services, 24/7, 365 days a year. The facility is expected to open in November.