This move-in had no pizza and no beer. Kingston Rotarians, however, were nourished with coffee, cookies, and brownies on a drizzly Saturday, in early March, as they spearheaded the effort to move furniture, appliances, and furnishings into Kingston’s new Home of Compassion. They were all more than nourished knowing their efforts, and those of many other individuals and Kiwanians led to the opening of a place where five formerly homeless men can call home.
The opening of this home marks the fifteenth such home in Kitsap County operated by Kitsap Homes of Compassion (KHOC). Some background might be helpful for those unfamiliar with KHOC. It was established in 2017 to help eliminate the problem of homelessness in Kitsap County. At this time they have some 77 residents — formerly homeless — living in deeply affordable, long-term, supportive housing through shared, leased homes. They emphasize these are not halfway houses for those with addictions. This is not temporary housing. It is long-term and meant to provide a worry-free environment that lifts residents from homelessness to the possibility of a normal existence. KHOC leases three to five bedroom homes with consent from property owners. The homes must be near public transportation, with places like grocery stores nearby. Kitsap Community Resources gives KHOC referrals for potential participants who do not have pets or current addiction issues. Each participant must have a steady source of income of at least $700 per month. Members pay a program fee starting at $500 per month for a private bedroom with cable, internet, and all utilities included. All bedrooms have locks on the doors for privacy, and members share the use of common areas such as dining rooms, living rooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.
The Kingston Home of Compassion welcomed it’s first resident the day after move-in. It is near Village Green Community Center, bus lines, and the Food Market. As of this writing, three residents live there, with a fourth signed up and getting ready to move in. One bedroom remains available.
Kingston’s KHOC House Manager is Rae Holt, who has been a KHOC volunteer for more than a year. Kingston’s home was completely furnished by donations from Rotarians, Kiwanians, Kingston Cares, and generous community residents. Holt said, “everybody was wonderfully generous. Beds, furniture, printer, washer and dryer, kitchen utensils, pots and pans. In fact, we had more donations than we needed.”