Kitsap Rescue Mission reaches first fundraising goal

The group, which operates Kitsap’s only overnight homeless shelter, has raised $171,800

Kitsap Rescue Mission has reached its goal of raising $171,800 to install a sprinkler system at the currently shut down overnight shelter space, pending city approval.

The scope of the current phase’s work includes hooking up the sprinkler system to city water and installing a riser room where sprinklers would run to the back bay in the location the shelter will be housed, according to kitsaprescue.org.

The next step will be for the City of Bremerton to approve the concept. Criteria for the concept includes creating a two-hour firewall between the front half of the building — which will not have sprinklers — and the back half of the building where the shelter will be.

Phase two of the project is going to cost some $220,000 and entails replacing the north roof over the back bay. $61,000 in funds from a recent auction dinner in February will be devoted toward replacing the north roof for the coming phase. That leaves KRM the remaining $159,000 to raise before summer, so they can address the roof replacement while the weather permits, according to KRM.

When the Salvation Army winter homeless shelter closes March 15 — where the KRM shelter is temporarily located — the rescue mission will need to relocate again and is currently exploring two short-term shelter options while the roof is being replaced.

“I have a verbal agreement on one place and a backup plan,” said KRM Executive Director Nancy Olsten. “I don’t think we’re in danger of not having the shelter open after March 15.”

KRM already has $504,000 invested in the building. The cost for the first two phases ($391,800) combined with the $504,000 will bring that number to $895,800. An additional $604,200 is estimated to be needed to apply for a number of large grants and additional funding for further building renovations.

“We need to hit the $1,500,000 mark by summer of 2020 or 2021 (the grant is only open in June,)” KRM’s website states.

Once the roof is replaced, the shelter can be put in the high bay until funds — $953,000 — are in place to complete the upstairs program area and the south roof. Once that is complete, the shelter can move into a larger area that can hold 40 beds while first floor renovations — $1,734,000 — are being conducted.

After the first floor renovations are completed, KRM will be able to provide for 45 individuals in the overnight shelter and 40 to 45 individuals upstairs in the space’s transitional program for up to two years. KRM currently is only able to provide 26 beds for the homeless population.

The last and final phase would involve finishing the exterior building and parking lot. The entire building renovation will carry an estimated price tag of over $3 million.

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