Bowen Street Proposed Homeless Site Ceases Work Pending
Review by County
(Port Orchard, WA) – Kitsap County staff requested that work begun on a
proposed homeless encampment on Bowen Street in East Bremerton cease until a
county review could be completed. The owner has complied with the request.
The Outside Homeless Committee of the Kitsap Continuum of Care Coalition
approached the county and cities to develop a homeless encampment policy for
their respective jurisdictions. This request comes in light of the
increasing number of homeless families and individuals seeking assistance
from social service agencies, as well as new data made available from the
State Department of Social and Health Services. In response to the increase
in homelessness across the state, the State Legislature passed a law this
past legislative session allowing faith-based organizations to establish
encampments for the homeless. Local public sector jurisdictions are
prohibited from creating ordinances or regulations that would restrict
faith-based organizations from hosting temporary encampments for the
Private property owner Joel Adamson proposed establishing small shelters for
the homeless on his East Bremerton property for the upcoming winter months.
The encampment would be operated under a lease agreement by Bremerton Rescue
Mission. The County has been working in coordination with the Outside
Homeless Committee to develop guidelines for ensuring protection of public
health and safety in compliance with the new state law. County Community
Development and Human Services Department staff members have asked the
property owner to stop his current development activities until those
guidelines are adopted.
The Property Owner has been responsible in alerting his neighbors on the
proposed project. A Town Meeting on the proposed project is scheduled for
Saturday, October 16, 2010, at 4:00 pm. The meeting location is New Life
Assembly Church, 1305 Ironside Avenue, Bremerton.