Kitsap Weather: Volunteers for Homeless Shelters Needed

Is it cold enough for you? This weather reminds me of when I used to live in Montana — a walk to take out the garbage was a cheek-numbing expedition. Now imagine weathering this below-freezing weather — forecast to continue for the next week or so — without a home.

As you may have already read, Kitsap agencies and churches have opened cold weather shelters for the homeless. According to South Kitsap resident and advocate for the homeless, Sally Santana, more volunteers are needed to staff the shelters.

Shelters in Bremerton and Port Orchard opened Saturday and will remain open to provide a warm place to sleep for those who have nowhere else to go. One shelter will serve men, one will serve women and children, and another will serve men with children.
The shelters will open when temperatures fall to freezing or below or when an inch of rain or snow is predicted. Shelters open at 6 p.m. and close at 7 a.m. Reservations must be made daily and can be made by calling 211 before 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. After 5 p.m. weekdays and on weekends, those needing shelter can call the Crisis Clinic at (360) 479-3033 (transportation available if needed).

Volunteers are needed to help staff the shelters from about 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. Participating volunteers can select the days and times that fit their schedules. Volunteers will work in teams of two or three. Duties may include getting the shelters ready to open, signing in guests and getting them settled, putting on the coffee pot and closing up in the morning.

If you are interested in getting involved with this program, please fill out an application. Go to the Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management’s Web site.
• Select the “New Volunteer” button in the blue section on the left side.
• At the bottom of the page under “PDF Documents” printout both the “Background Check Application and Volunteer Application”.
• Fill out both applications
• Return the form by fax, mail, or drop it off at our office located at 911 Carver St, Bremerton.
• All volunteers registering with Kitsap Emergency Management will be subject to a basic Washington State background check.

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