BREMERTON — Left Right Straight.
Whichever route you take, the nonprofit organization that aims for “adventure for veteran’s sake” for veterans has its new headquarters at 410 Sixth St., Bremerton.
It’s not open yet, but it’s getting there.
Sean Delaire, founder of Left Right Straight, said the organization moved into the building sometime in May or June, and since then there’s been a lot of work going on.
“We’re doing a lot of demolition,” Delaire said. “It was really depressing in here. Everything was black. It was just dark. It had a weird setup. So we’re opening everything up. That way, it’s going to be brighter.”
The roof, which leaks, will be replaced. Walls were taken down and new ones will be built. The old windows will be replaced. New paint will brighten the building up.
The list of projects is long, but Delaire isn’t daunted by it. Instead, he has grand plans for the future HQ of Left Right Straight.
The front of the building will be a recreation room, with TVs, air hockey, games provided by Castle Arcade, and a reading nook.
“The goal is kind of basically to be a place where veterans can come, relax … kind of decompress from their daily lives, work on homework,” Delaire said. “We’re going to have a resource area with all the resources in Kitsap County for anything they need, VA numbers and contacts. A one-stop shop for whatever they need.”
In the back will be the Left Right Straight staff offices; a conference room that can be rented out for small business meetings and other events; private work areas for whatever veterans need, such as a place to work on homework or make calls; and a full kitchen with a breakfast bar.
“That way, we can have veterans for Thanksgiving, Christmas, stuff like that,” Delaire said. “The idea is that, once it’s a lot more open and friendly, it’s going to be kind of open forum, open space.”
And when it’s open, Delaire said he hopes the whole community gets involved.
“Yeah, we’re for veterans, but we’re also for Kitsap County,” he said. “Our focus is on veterans, but we also want to do everything we can in this community to make it the best we possibly can.”
Delaire said Left Right Straight is just one part of the Kitsap County family.
“We’re veteran-focused, but we’re not exclusive,” he said. “People that support veterans, they’re more than welcome. Their families. Their spouses. They’re more than welcome. That’s something we’re really focused on, because, as a veteran transitioning into the civilian world, yeah, we need our space — we need our time to be around our brothers and sisters, just vets. But if you don’t transition and actually start becoming a part of the civilian world and just living in it, it’s not going to set you up for success.”
Construction is slow going, though. The roof will be fixed hopefully in early October, Delaire said, then it shouldn’t be too long before the front half of the building, the rec area, will be open.
“There’s fixes and cover-ups since like the 1940s in here,” Delaire said, “so you rip one thing down and find something else that’s gotta go.”
Construction, too, was stalled a bit because of lack of adequate Dumpster access. So at 9 a.m. Sept. 30, Delaire, the Left Right Straight staff and “all the help we can get” will be gathering at headquarters to load their rented dump truck and get the building cleared of debris from demolition so far.
Another way to help? Painting.
“We need lots of hands to paint,” Delaire said. “We’re still trying to prime the whole building, but I can only get so far when it’s just me.”
Delaire said that over the summer, the staff has been busy with vacations and working on their own things, “which is awesome,” but it means that work has been slow. He said most of it can be done over the winter, but he hopes to get the painting finished before the seasonal rain begins.
“Any volunteers that want to come,” he said. “Any day it’s nice. I’m a full-time student, but I’m usually off around noon, so any day that it’s nice, I’m out here working on something.”
If interested in volunteering to help with painting, show up or contact Delaire and Left Right Straight through their website, leftrightstraight.org, at facebook.com/leftrightstraight or by email at email@example.com.
“It’s a huge project,” Delaire said. “We’re excited about it, but it is a daunting project. We’re taking it step by step. The two biggest things is, we just need extra hands and funding, because this stuff is not cheap. But when it’s done, it’s going to be awesome.”