Project Connect fairs throughout Kitsap County next week

Events set for Jan. 22-24 in Port Orchard, Bremerton and Kingston

PORT ORCHARD — A one-stop free services and information fair for individuals and families in need will be held at three locations in Kitsap County Jan. 22-24: South Kitsap, Bremerton and North Kitsap.

The first fair, South Kitsap Project Connect, will be offered to the region’s residents from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at Givens Community Center, 1026 Sidney Ave., in Port Orchard. It will be followed during the same time frame the next day, Wednesday, Jan. 23, at The Salvation Army, 832 6th St., in Bremerton. And on Thursday, Jan. 24, at the same time, the fair will take place at the Village Green Community Center, 26159 Dulay Road NE, in Kingston.

The events are advertised as “one-stop free services and information” activities aimed at helping individuals and families in crisis. Project Connect is sponsored by organizations such as Kitsap Housing and Homelessness Coalition, Kitsap Community Foundation, Bremerton Housing Authority, Kingston Cares and the Kitsap County Department of Human Services.

The following activities and subjects will be addressed at the event: shelter and housing; substance abuse assistance/detox; medical insurance; outdoor homeless gear; homeless resources; pediatric developmental screening; medical and dental information; hygiene kits; mental health resources; food bank information; transportation; pediatric developmental screening; and DSKS/food stamps and benefits information.

Last year, about 450 local, low-income and homeless residents attended the three Project Connect events. Over 50 organizations provided services including housing referrals, immunizations, eye exams, health screenings, rabies shots, sleeping bags, coats, haircuts, and more. Each of the three 2019 Project Connect sites will have slightly different vendors, tailoring offerings to what is available to residents in that geographic area. A hot lunch will be provided at each of the sites.

Project Connect is held in conjunction with the annual Point-in-Time Count survey of people experiencing homelessness, conducted by the Kitsap County Department of Human Services. Guests at Project Connect are asked to participate in the survey, which helps local and state leaders better understand community needs and homelessness trends. The results also influence state and local funding decisions.

Project Connect is coordinated by the Kitsap Housing and Homelessness Coalition, a network which includes homeless and affordable housing service providers as well as organizations serving homeless and low-income residents of our community.

For more information, call Terry Schroeder or Kirsten Jewell of the Kitsap County Housing and Homeless Division Program at 360-337-7286.