West Sound for Social Justice (WSSJ) presents KITSAP HOMELESSNESS: IT’S ABOUT US on April 15 at
the Bremerton United Methodist Church, 1150 Marine Dr., Bremerton. The public is invited to join us as we
hear from the leaders in local homelessness work, learn how we can support them in their efforts, and explore
possible solutions. Doors will open at 1:30 p.m. for mingling, coffee, and light fare, and the program will begin
promptly at 2:00 p.m.
The Kitsap Sun’s Josh Farley will moderate the forum, which includes three panels:
LIVED EXPERIENCE – Dezerae Hamblin from Peninsula Community Health Services, Gerald Harris – a
currently-homeless local resident, and the previously-homeless author Richard LeMieux (Breakfast at Sally’s).
SCOPE OF THE PROBLEM – Bridget Callahan from the Housing Solutions Center of Kitsap County and
Kurt Wiest from the Bremerton Housing Authority.
POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS – Gina Chamberlain – a Housing Advocate, Renee Kimball – a currently-homeless
Homeless Advocate, and Mike O’Shaughnessy, Director of the Kitsap Rescue Mission. The second and third
panels will each be followed by a 20-minute Town Hall-styled Q&A.
We’ll conclude the afternoon with Monica Bernhard of Kitsap Mental Health Services, and a half-hour
facilitated session to give our input on Kitsap County’s 2018 Homeless Housing Plan, which is set for approval
by the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners on May 14.
Seeking empowerment amid the dehumanizing force of homelessness in our community, we hope to tackle
these questions and more: What is being done to address the homeless population locally? Why are the numbers
of people who are susceptible to homeless on the rise? What happens when homeless encampments are evicted
to make way for increased development? What can we do to help?
Join us as we explore the all-too-thin membrane between the housed and the houseless. Many of us are a mere
paycheck or one medical crisis away from becoming homeless. Clearly, homelessness calls for us to look
toward rather than away; it affects all of us.
Make KITSAP HOMELESSNESS: IT’S ABOUT US part of your local kick off to National Volunteer Week
(April 15 – 21) and Kitsap Great Give (April 24) as we take this opportunity to raise funds and supplies for
Bremerton Foodline, StandUp for Kids, and the Bremerton Backpack Brigade. This family-friendly event
includes child activity stations with parent helpers. It is part of an ongoing community conversation on
homelessness and affordable housing.
West Sound for Social Justice works towards a better society through the sharing of information, advocacy, and
direct action. We advocate policies that promote the general welfare of all people. Visit WSSJ online at
www.wssj.org for event background information, donation suggestions, and more.
There will be snacks and such provided by the West Side Social Justice Group.