HOMELESS ENCAMPMENT ACTION RESPONSE And TRANSITIONs (HEART) Program

Leading with Compassion

Download this HEART Program Presentation (pdf)

 Program Description

The HEART (Homeless Encampment Action Response and Transitions) Program was launched in April 2022.  The program is designed to ensure that the county government has a consistent, coordinated, and compassionate response to unauthorized homeless encampments on Kitsap County property.

The HEART Program is governed by the Unauthorized Encampment Response Policy on County Property, which was approved by the Board of County Commissioners in November 2021. The policy provides clear, consistent, and uniform guidelines regarding responses to encampments on Kitsap County property. The policy outlines the role of a full-time position, the HEART Coordinator, to implement the policy and coordinate the county’s response across departments and community partner organizations, working with a HEART Advisory Team. The HEART Coordinator was hired in April 2022.  In addition, Kitsap County is funding a dedicated encampment outreach team through a contract with Kitsap Community Resources’ Housing Solutions Center program.

The HEART Program’s goal is to lead with compassion, and to provide a person-centered approach by focusing on connecting individuals with resources while mitigating the impacts of unauthorized encampments on our community.

 News and Updates

​Coming soon

 Encampment Response Process

Reports about unauthorized encampments should be made through Kitsap 1.

After the HEART Program receives a complaint, the HEART Coordinator will:

  1. 1) Respond to the person making the complaint to gather more information about the encampment.
  2. 2) Do a parcel search to see if the property is owned by the county.
  3. 3) Schedule a visit to an encampment when it is found to be a county owned property.
  4. 4) Assess the encampment and write a report of the findings.
  5. 5) Bring the findings to the HEART Advisory Team, who will determine next steps for responding to the encampment.
Download the Reporting Encampments Handout (.pdf) (updated 9/26/2022)

 Frequently Asked Questions

 What is the HEART Coordinator?

The HEART Coordinator organizes Kitsap County encampment response efforts among county departments and community partners. 

 What is the HEART Advisory Team?

The HEART Advisory Team is made up of representatives of county departments that interact with encampments and representatives from non-profit organizations that provide resources to people living in encampments.

 How long does it take to close an encampment?

Closing an encampment may take as long as a few months. Case law and legal requirements governing a jurisdiction’s response to encampments on public property is complex and includes many different steps that Kitsap County must follow. The number of people living in an encampment, its location, safety issues, and health concerns are some of the factors considered when determining a timeframe for closing an encampment. In addition, Kitsap County has limited resources for this work, so timing can also depend on what other encampments the HEART Program is also working with at the time.

 How can I get involved?

Download the Help You Can Help People Living Homeless (.pdf) brochure for information about ways to get involved and support organization and services in Kitsap County


 What can be done if the encampment is on private property?

If an encampment is on private property, you can contact the Kitsap Public Heath District and Report a Public Health Concern. By clicking the link and following the steps you will initiate a site visit by a Health District inspector. 

You can also call 9-1-1 to receive assistance from a law enforcement officer.


Download the HEART Program FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions (.pdf) (coming soon)



 Report Encampments

​How to Report an Encampment on Public Property

Kitsap1 is your first call for County services and questions. 

Call 360.337.5777 or email help@kitsap1.com

Open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. - Closed weekends and holidays.

You can also report encampments using the SeeClickFix app - visit the Kitsap1 page for more information.

 Resources for Private Property Owners

If an encampment is on private property, you can contact the Kitsap Public Heath District and Report a Public Health Concern. By clicking the link and following the steps you will initiate a site visit by a Health District inspector. 

You can also call 9-1-1 to receive assistance from a law enforcement officer.

 Contact Us

Encampment Response

Jarrod Moran, HEART Program Coordinator
Call Kitsap1 at 360.337.5777 or email help@kitsap1.com

​For media updates and inquiries

Kirsten Jewell, Division Manager
kjewell@kitsap.gov