Tent Cities in America
The Homeless In Kitsap newsletter
How to Help the Homeless in Kitsap County
The Kitsap Community Homeless & Low-Income Resource Guide
Housing Solutions Center of Kitsap County
Who are the Homeless? America, supposedly the richest and most livable country in the world has a major problem with homelessness. It’s the dirty little secret that no one likes to talk about. Most people when they think of the homeless think of the men standing on the corner asking for change. But that is only the tip of the iceberg. What most people don’t see or choose not to see are those that are sleeping in the woods under tarps and make shift tents. They don’t see the families living in their cars parked behind a friendly church. They don’t see the many teenagers that are on the street trying to find a meal and sleeping with friends or at a shelter. Some estimates are there are as many as 1.5 million homeless children. How do we justify that in America?
(Info from the National Coalition of the Homeless)
Two trends are largely responsible for the rise in homelessness over the past 20-25 years: a growing shortage of affordable rental housing and a simultaneous increase in poverty. Below is an overview of current poverty and housing statistics, as well as additional factors contributing to homelessness.
Recently, foreclosures have increased the number of people who experience homelessness. The National Coalition for the Homeless released an entire report discussing the relationship between foreclosure and homelessness. The report found that there was a 32% jump in the number of foreclosures between April 2008 and April 2009. Since the start of the recession, six million jobs have been lost.
This page is dedicated to providing information to help the homeless. The mission of Bremerton Foodline (BFL) is “to reduce hunger and improve the quality of life for those in need in our community.” This includes the homeless. BFL helps some homeless in our community by directly providing food when they come to the facility. BFL also provides monthly up to 100 bags of groceries to the homeless via the “Taking it to the Streets” ministry.
The information posted here is provided mostly by Sally Santana who deserves a lot of credit for her work with the homeless. She can be contacted via email@example.com or her web site www.sallysantana.com.
Tents, sleeping bags, warm clothing and much more needed.
Kitsap Rescue Mission, along with Pastor Art’s ministry, is experiencing a surge in requests for camping gear. They can’t meet demand.
This is due in part, we believe, to the elimination of the $197 cash grant to the Disability Lifeline-Unemployable (DL-U) folks who received their last grant Oct. 1, 2011. There were 680 Kitsap County citizens on this program. In March of this year, Bremerton Housing Authority exec. dir. Kurt Wiest stated that, between BHA and Housing Kitsap, they had 37 DL-U clients. I was one back in ’07 (they called it GA-U then) and the grant helped keep me and my son in our fair market value apartment. KCR’s housing waiting list is at 100.
The need is growing.
WE HAVE IMMEDIATE NEEDS THAT YOU CAN HELP WITH
• Sleeping bags rated to 32 and below (any will do, but if you can, these are best right now)
• Twin size air mattresses for added layer of insulation between bag and tent bottom.
• Blankets that are washable
• 2-person dome tents (Wal-Mart and Amazon have them for under $30; we need dozens) (Several 4 person are needed also).
• Sterno, candles, and small propane bottles for cooking and heat
• Flashlights with batteries
Thank you for whatever you can do to help keep our neighbors alive.
Submitted by Sally Santana
Safe Parking for homeless single women. This is a first for our county! It’s located in Poulsbo, but women can come from anywhere in the county. Contact Housing Solutions Center of Kitsap County for information (see link above).
Tent Cities – For a variety of reasons, many in our county find themselves living in vehicles and tents. Often those “couch surfing” don’t think of themselves as homeless because they have a roof over their heads successive nights at a time. But it’s not their home. They can’t hang a picture on a wall, or tell the school district – this is our permanent residence; it will be the same tomorrow…come get my little ones. They wait to be asked to leave.
They have no sanctuary, no safe haven to escape the world. They’re still looking for a home of their own.
While we are working hard, and working together, to create living wage employment and affordable (and that is SO subjective!) housing and transportation options, we need to also work together to make life as bearable as possible for the individuals and families that don’t have a door to close against the weather.
Most likely, we’d be looking at one small community of adults only, of between 10 to 20 individuals. The report “Tent Cities in America: A Pacific Coast Report” will give you background on how a local one could function.