View of the inside of Kitsap Rescue Mission. (Tyler Shuey/Kitsap News Group)

View of the inside of Kitsap Rescue Mission. (Tyler Shuey/Kitsap News Group)

County looks to add more space for homeless in shelters

Kitsap County Board of Commissioners approved the 2018 Kitsap Homeless Crisis Response and Housing Plan.

BREMERTON — The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners recently approved a crisis response to homelessness.

The response aims to make homelessness a rare, brief and one-time occurrence in Kitsap County and seeks to ensure that affordable housing is accessible to all residents who need it. The program partners with many social service providers and affordable housing developers.

Kirsten Jewell, Housing and Homelessness Division coordinator for the county, gave a presentation about the plan last week at a Bremerton City Council meeting.

“There is just not enough places for everyone to live,” Jewell said. “Great demand for small supply equates to an increase in rent.”

A big emphasis of the plan is to identify the most vulnerable people. Other proposed plans include adding 120 shelter beds throughout the county, adding 15 respite care shelter beds for people with medical needs and adding 60-80 permanent supportive housing units for people with long-term behavioral health and physical health challenges to stable housing.

The added beds should help those already homeless. Kitsap Rescue Mission is one of a few homeless shelters in Bremerton. Sonny Zubia, a Bremerton resident, became homeless last year and has been going to the shelter ever since.

“Being homeless isn’t just being homeless; it’s being ignored and talked bad about. We have nothing to look forward to. The word ‘no’ has become a big part of our life,” he said. “I’ve never slept here before because there’s not enough beds. I have to hide to sleep. Being in Bremerton is the toughest I’ve ever seen.”

According to the 2018 Point In Time Homeless Count, there are estimated to be more than 450 people living on the streets, in vehicles, in the woods, in shelters and in transitional housing throughout the county.

For Zubia, having a place to go would be a big help.

“Being homeless in Bremerton is very, very tough because it is illegal,” Zubia said. “We can’t be outside because it’s loitering. Everywhere we are is bad because we are not working and don’t have a home. It’s a hard life.”

Tyler Shuey is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at tshuey@soundpublishing.com

View of the front of Kitsap Rescue Mission. (Tyler Shuey/Kitsap News Group)

View of the front of Kitsap Rescue Mission. (Tyler Shuey/Kitsap News Group)

View of the front of Kitsap Rescue Mission. (Tyler Shuey/Kitsap News Group)

View of the front of Kitsap Rescue Mission. (Tyler Shuey/Kitsap News Group)

View of the back of Kitsap Rescue Mission. (Tyler Shuey/Kitsap News Group)

View of the back of Kitsap Rescue Mission. (Tyler Shuey/Kitsap News Group)

View of the inside of Kitsap Rescue Mission. (Tyler Shuey/Kitsap News Group)

View of the inside of Kitsap Rescue Mission. (Tyler Shuey/Kitsap News Group)

View of the front of Kitsap Rescue Mission. (Tyler Shuey/Kitsap News Group)

View of the front of Kitsap Rescue Mission. (Tyler Shuey/Kitsap News Group)

View of the back of Kitsap Rescue Mission. (Tyler Shuey/Kitsap News Group)

View of the back of Kitsap Rescue Mission. (Tyler Shuey/Kitsap News Group)

More in News

‘Pop Pop’ is gone, but beloved patriarch’s spirit lives on

Michael Keaton’s shattered family gathers strength from his legacy.

Don Clotfelter / WSDOT
Late-night closures for Hood Canal Bridge

SHINE — The Hood Canal Bridge will be closed during the late… Continue reading

Kitsap Community Food Co-Op gets new home

BREMERTON — The Kitsap Community Food Co-Op will finally have a home… Continue reading

Champagne, anyone? Chris Craft wooden boats bring elegance to marina

The 29th annual Chris Craft Rendezvous docks in Port Orchard Marina.

Rob Putaansuu
Putaansuu elected to AWC board

The Port Orchard mayor is in his first term in office.

Suspected hit-and-run driver surrenders to KCSO

Ali Rochelle Giannini had been listed as a ‘person of interest.’ She’s now in Kitsap County Jail.

This poster displays the route John Kuntz will take along the Columbia River. (Photo courtesy John Kuntz)
Local plans 1,250-mile kayak trip

Trek made to inspire children to explore outdoors

Housing Kitsap kicks off work on Sherman Ridge

The new neighborhood is part of Housing Kitsap’s affordable homeownership efforts in the county.

A 49-year-old man was arrested in Bremerton in connection with a three-year-old hit-and-run incident in Port Orchard. (Photo courtesy Washington State Patrol Trooper Chelsea Hodgson)
Bremerton man arrested in fatal 2015 Port Orchard hit-and-run

64-year-old Chris Lukkassson was hit and killed by a vehicle on Victory Drive Southwest

Most Read