April 9, 2014
Vol: 21 No: 15

News

New site allows Kitsap Rescue Mission to expand services

By Aaron Burkhalter , Staff Reporter

Kitsap Rescue Mission purchased this buidling at 810 Sixth St. in Bremerton.

Photo courtesy of Kitsap Rescue Mission

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Kitsap Rescue Mission purchased a new building in downtown Bremerton where it will house an emergency shelter and a program to transition single adults out of homelessness.

The mission paid $264,000 for the vacant two story property with a partial basement at 810 Sixth St., a few blocks from the organization’s main building. Kitsap Rescue Mission paid for the building with about $140,000 in grants and the rest through private donations.

The building needs an estimated $1.4 million in remodeling, including new plumbing and electrical work, a fire alarm system and a sprinkler system. Because of the fundraising and remodeling, the building will not open until the fall of 2015 at the earliest.

“We’re basically going to gut the building,” said Executive Director Walt Le Couteur.

The new building allows the Kitsap Rescue Mission to expand its Fresh Start Program, which helps single adults find housing and employment over the course of six months to three years. Kitsap Rescue Mission provides housing and meals while the clients build their job skills and work through financial and legal issues that keep them homeless.

Kitsap Rescue Mission hosted its Fresh Start Program for up to eight men at 1003 Fifth St. In the new location, the mission can house up to 24 men and 10 women.

The building has enough space to hold an emergency shelter for up to 40 single adults. The shelter will replace a Kitsap County-run cold weather shelter that has housed 12 to 15 people each night at the Bremerton Foodline.

The county program was only open when overnight temperatures dipped below freezing, or there was two inches of snow. Kitsap Rescue Mission’s shelter will be open year-round.

“This is something we’ve been wanting to get started in the county for a long time,” Le Couteur said.

Jason McMillan, program specialist for the Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management, said that Kitsap County has few emergency shelter programs and needs a year-round program.

“It’d be a godsend, really,” McMillan said.

The new building will also hold a commercial kitchen, which will help feed the 34 people in the Fresh Start Program, and support several hot meal programs the Kitsap Rescue Mission hosts around the county.

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