Kitsap County this week launched the largest-ever eviction prevention program, funded by approximately $18 million from several different state and federal funding sources, providing financial support to low-income individuals and households who may be behind on rent and utilities.
"Helping individuals and families maintain their housing, and avoid the potential devastation of evictions, is the number one thing we can do to support our entire community on the path to recovery," said Commissioner Rob Gelder, chair of the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners.
In order to make it easy for tenants to apply for funding, Kitsap County has rolled all of this funding into a single new program - the Kitsap Eviction Prevention Assistance program (KEPA) - so that eligible households do not have to sort through different requirements and applications for the different funding sources. Instead, there is a single Pre-Application that determines eligibility for all programs. Either tenants or landlords may initiate the Pre-Application.
"We hope to make this program as easy to access as possible for eligible tenants who are behind on rent," noted Kirsten Jewel, Kitsap County Department of Human Services Housing and Homelessness Division manager. "The goals of the program are threefold: to benefit tenants so they can get caught up on rent and utilities, to help landlords who can collect past due rent and pay their bills, and to support the community so that we can avoid a tsunami of evictions due to tenants' inability to pay rent once the eviction moratorium is lifted."
Eligible households can apply for past-due rent, current rent, and up to two months of future rent, which will be paid directly to the landlord. In addition, program funds may be used for tenants' past-due utilities charges, paid directly to utility companies.
To be eligible, households must have a total income of 50% or less of area median income and experienced a financial impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A chart showing these income amounts by household size is available on the program website. This assistance is only for renters and landlords. Homeowners are not eligible to apply unless they are the landlord.
Tenants who aren't sure whether they qualify can still submit the Pre-Application and may be referred to other programs for support if they don't qualify for this eviction prevention or utility assistance.
Kitsap County has contracted with Kitsap Community Resources to be the primary distribution agency. This means most tenants and landlords will be working with them directly. Kitsap County also contracted with Housing Kitsap and the Bremerton Housing Authority to provide eviction prevention funding to their existing tenants.
The Coffee Oasis will be accepting applications from youth and young adults (up to 26 years old) who may also submit an application through Kitsap Community Resources. The program is set up so there is "no wrong door" and applications will be routed to the appropriate agency.
In addition, Kitsap County contracted with six outreach partner organizations that will work directly with historically under-served minority populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. These partners will provide outreach, education, and application assistance to the populations they serve and include Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center, Mt. Zion Church, Gather Together Grow Together, Surviving Change, Foundation for Homeless and Poverty Management, and House of Refuge/Hope 360.
Information about the program, including the Pre-Application, is available at http://kcowa.us/kepa. The Pre-Application is also available in Spanish.
Informational flyers are available to print and share:
If you recycle at home in Kitsap County or use any of the recycling and garbage drop-off facilities in Kitsap County, you are invited to take the 2021 Kitsap County Recycling Survey.
We'll use your feedback to update local recycling programs, guidelines, websites, and signage throughout Kitsap County. We haven’t conducted a survey like this in many years and we’re excited to hear from you!
The survey will take 10-15 minutes to complete. At the end of the survey, there is an opportunity to enter a raffle to win a $100 Visa gift card. There will be three winners.
Go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KitsapCountyRecycling-English to take the survey.
April 7, 2021
Kitsap County Board of Commissioners statement condemning violence against Asian American Pacific Islander communities:
The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners is deeply saddened by the recent violence perpetrated against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. From the massacre in Atlanta at Asian American-owned and populated businesses, to the physical attacks on elders in San Francisco, Oakland, New York City and unfortunately, many more, including recent racially motivated incidents in Kitsap County. It is disheartening we write a statement of solidarity for the AAPI community just nine months after our similar letter to the editor, issued in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.
These attacks emerged in the wake of statements attempting to falsely ascribe blame to AAPI people for the spread of COVID-19 and we unequivocally stand alongside our AAPI neighbors, coworkers, friends, and family during this time. We also call on county residents to condemn this violence and accompanying harassment that puts our AAPI communities at risk.
We must not only stand by the APPI community today but commit to the long-term work of building an inclusive multiracial community where marginalized communities thrive and are valued as an essential part of the diverse fabric of America.
Commissioner Robert Gelder, Chair
Commissioner Edward E. Wolfe
Commissioner Charlotte Garrido
This week, Kitsap County Commissioners renewed their commitment to advancing equity in the allocation of services and resources, identifying barriers and ensuring there are more opportunities for community members to be a part of the process of developing, strengthening and supporting policies and procedures. As part of this, Commissioners took the next steps in creation of a diversity and equity inclusion committee and will be establishing a charter and bylaws, in consultation with community members.
The committee’s work will include assisting the county in drafting goals, strategies and actions in its review of procedures, policy and planning through an equity lens. Commissioners will issue a request for qualifications for a consultant to join staff in coordinating the effort and supporting outreach to communities to ensure the structure and recruitment for the group are inclusive.
“While the pandemic may have slowed our progress, the commitment is solid for creating and enhancing a culture and operational lens to make sure our workforce, work processes, and boards/commissions are reflective of the community we serve.” said Robert Gelder, current chair of the Board of Commissioners.
This is a long-term commitment to improve and more deeply integrate diversity and equity in the delivery of services and resources to Kitsap communities and the county workforce. It also provides meaningful opportunities to educate staff, extend and create community partnerships and have impactful dialogue with community members.
Commissioners appreciate and value the relationships they have with Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities in Kitsap and will continue to work with them towards a common goal of improving and ensuring equitable access and outcomes for everyone.
In addition to a commitment to create a diversity, equity and inclusion committee, Kitsap County has joined the Government Alliance on Race and Equity, a national network of government groups working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all, offering staff training, resources and toolkits. County Commissioners are also looking at efforts in other counties and cities nationwide in creating an equity and inclusion strategy.
The request for qualifications to hire a coordinator is expected to be released next month and Commissioners will be meeting regularly with county leadership to work in coordination and ensure all departments are engaged in the effort. Commissioners hope to have a consultant hired and begin formation of the committee this summer.
The Kitsap County Department of Human Services is offering informational question-and-answer sessions for organizations in Kitsap County that have never applied for or received a Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Therapeutic Court grant with funds generated from the 1/10th of 1% treatment sales tax. Now is the time to start planning for submitting a 2022 funding proposal. The request for proposals opens May 28, 2021. Grant applications are due Aug. 6.
These informational sessions provide opportunities to meet with a grant writing specialist, network with other organizations that have behavioral health needs, discuss common issues and problems, and get your grant writing questions answered.
Sessions are scheduled:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information on how to join the meeting.
Individualized sessions or presentations and can be scheduled with your organization. For more information, contact Gay Neal at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-337-4827.
Community input is sought on the draft 2021-2026 Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Therapeutic Court Behavioral Health Strategic Plan for funding programs through Kitsap County's 1/10th of 1 percent local treatment sales tax. Written public comment will be accepted through April 1, 2021. View the strategic plan here.
The plan was developed by the Kitsap County Department of Human Services, in collaboration with community leaders and subject matter experts. This team created a plan with goals, objectives, and strategies aimed at meeting the behavioral health needs of the Kitsap community.
The strategic plan guides review of applications for funding to ensure programs receiving treatment tax funds evaluate and implement the strategies and are transparent, accountable and collaborative.
View the draft plan here. To learn more about the 1/10th of 1% treatment tax program, including programs funded in previous years, click here.
Please submit all comments, no later than April 1, 2021, to:
Kitsap County Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Therapeutic Court Programs614 Division Street, MS-23Port Orchard, WA 98366
Comments may also be emailed to email@example.com.
For more information, contact Gay Neal, coordinator for the Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Therapeutic Court Programs, at 360-337-4827 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kitsap County Parks invites the public to a virtual community meeting from 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 16 to learn more about the Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park Master Plan Project and work together to determine a shared vision for the future of the park. This is the first in a series of interactive meetings to explore potential recreational opportunities and provide feedback. Register to attend at http://portgambleforestpark.com or contact Kitsap County Parks at email@example.com or 360-337-5350.
"The Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park was over a decade in the making. A park that is the result of a confluence of various community desires – regional trail system, conservation, ride park, etc. The master planning effort will help refine the vision and plot the path forward," noted Kitsap County Commissioner Rob Gelder.
The 3,500-acre county park has 65 miles of volunteer-maintained trails and logging roads and will soon include a 177-acre mountain bike ride park. The Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park Master Plan process, taking place throughout 2021 with a final plan submitted to County Commissioners for approval in early 2022, will review strategies for restoration and protection of natural areas, land management for public access and recreation, and relevant economic benefits and tradeoffs. These strategies will be evaluated while considering community preferences, financial feasibility, easements and land suitability.
"Developing master plans for parks is extremely important as it provides a formal way to engage with our community to gather ideas and input, all of which will lead us to a shared vision for the future of the park," said Kitsap Parks Director Alex Wisniewski. "The acquisition of the Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park was quite an amazing feat and it's now really exciting to take the next step."
Since acquiring the land in late 2017, Kitsap County Parks has worked to determine the long-term possibilities and uses of the Port Gamble park. The land will continue to undergo changes associated with logging and regeneration over the next several decades. The master planning process is an opportunity for the community to provide input to guide decisions on the management and best uses for the park, both now and into the future.
For further information, to register for the meeting and to sign up to receive email notifications on the master plan process, go to http://portgambleforestpark.com. To learn more about Kitsap County parks and stewardship opportunities, go to www.kitsapgov.com/parks.
Timber harvesting got underway Feb. 26 in Kitsap County’s Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park and will continue through June 2021, depending on weather conditions and operational constraints. Rayonier will conduct the harvesting and related activities inside park boundaries. Rayonier maintains timber harvesting rights for portions of the heritage park through 2042, which was integral to the county purchasing the property.
Kitsap County Parks is aware of the impact timber harvest activity has on recreational activities and will provide updates as they become available. Signage is posted at trail and road entrances along the haul route. Trails within or near timber harvesting activity are closed and off-limits to the public to ensure safe operation of the equipment and for the safety of park and trail users.
Trails closed for the duration are Downhell and The Hood. Other adjacent trails may also be closed when activity is nearby. Please avoid all timber harvest operations – thank you for your cooperation!
Hauling trucks will enter and exit from the Bay View parking lot and trailhead on the west side of State Route 104. The parking lot and trailhead will remain open to the public, but caution is required when hauling trucks are using roadways. Please do not park in front of or block the access gate.
Check the Kitsap County Parks Department website for updates at https://www.kitsapgov.com/parks. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-337-5350.
Learn more about a new transit center in Central Kitsap with Kitsap Transit's Executive Director John Clauson at the March 3 meeting of the Central Kitsap Community Council that takes place remotely from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Staff from Kitsap County Public Works will also provide updates on improvement projects in the Silverdale area including sewer, stormwater and other upgrades on Bay Shore Drive, Washington Avenue and Byron Street, and the widening of Ridgetop Boulevard.
Everyone is welcome to join and there will be time for the public to ask questions. To join the meeting, go to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8414790334 or by phone, call 253-215-8782, webinar ID: 841 4790 3341
For more information, contact Katharine Shaffer in the Kitsap County Commissioners' Office at Kshaffer@co.kitsap.wa.us
Annual awards celebrate local environmental action.
Let's celebrate individuals, groups, and businesses in the community who go above and beyond to protect the environment!
Have you met an educator that's passionate about the Earth? What about a group that's committed to restoring the environment through native planting? Anyone you know taking action to clean up Kitsap? There are many ways people join the effort to restore our Earth.
Earth Day 2021 is on April 22nd. Kitsap County Public Works and the Board of County Commissioners want to recognize Kitsap’s outstanding environmental stewards. We need your help to do it!
Complete the nomination form by March 28, 2021 to tell us who you are nominating, and why they deserve an Earth Day Award.
The Kitsap County Board of County Commissioners will celebrate Earth Day Award Winners at a virtual award ceremony.
183 local individuals, businesses, and groups have received Earth Day Awards from Kitsap County Public Works since 1993.
The first Earth Day began in 1970 and is credited with launching the modern environmental movement which led to landmark environmental laws, including the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. This year, on Earth Day's 51st anniversary, the world turns its attention toward climate change with the global climate summit.
There are diverse ways to get involved in this year's Earth Day efforts if you're interested. Become an Earth Day partner and host your own event with the Earth Day toolkit. Get involved in the Canopy Project to plant trees, advocate for climate literacy, learn about sustainable food practices, and much more at Earth Day 2021.
Lauren Liming | Program Coordinator
Kitsap County Solid Waste Division
Solid Waste | kcowa.us/earthday
Kitsap County Commissioners sent a letter today to Governor Jay Inslee in response to the Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery plan, conveying their frustration over its inconsistencies, the regional approach being used, Kitsap's designation and the metrics applied that are required to move from Phase 1 to Phase 2.
In the letter, Commissioners request the State move Kitsap County to the Puget Sound region of its phased recovery plan, which includes Snohomish, King and Pierce counties, and advance the county to Phase 2 as were those counties Jan. 28. Commissioners also ask that metrics be revised to better reflect the public health conditions for communities of all sizes. Kitsap County is currently designated in the Northwest region with Clallam, Jefferson and Mason counties.
Read the Commissioners' letter here.
Join Kitsap County Commissioner Ed Wolfe and the Central Kitsap Community Council for a Central Kitsap Town Hall, to be held virtually from 5-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 3 via Zoom.
Updates and discussion will focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, planning for the Central Kitsap community campus, homelessness and affordable housing. Everyone is welcome to join and there will be ample time for the public to ask questions and share ideas!
To join the Central Kitsap Town Hall, go to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85678597024
To join by phone, call 253-215-8782 Webinar ID: 856 7859 7024
For more information, contact Katharine Shaffer in the Commissioners' Office at Kshaffer@co.kitsap.wa.us
Some Kitsap students are going back to school and that means drivers need to watch out for those that are walking or waiting for the bus.
Here are a few tips to help keep our kids safe.
Slow down. Speed limits are reduced in school zones for a reason. Most schools have some kind of warning lights so pay attention to them, and be aware of crosswalks.
Watch for busses which make frequent stops. Be aware of the students getting on and off the bus, and those waiting on the side of the road. Parents, only drop your student off at the designated areas at school.
Eliminate distractions. Taking your eyes off the road for even two seconds doubles your chances of crashing. Children are quick, and may not be paying attention to traffic. They may cross unexpectedly between cars.
Check your surroundings, especially when backing up. Every vehicle has blind spots. Check for children in driveways, on sidewalks and around your vehicle.
Talk to your teen drivers. Many of the crashes involving teens are from inexperience. Ride with them and talk about safe driving tips.
Most drivers are driving responsibly, and we thank you for that, so please pass the word to protect everyone that is traveling on our roadways.
Please choose to drive safe. Every trip, every time.
Kitsap County Commissioners sent a letter today to Governor Jay Inslee in response to the Healthy Washington - Roadmap to Recovery and COVID-19 vaccine plans, conveying concerns about the apparent change in direction and lack of communication and clarity. Commissioners also share some observations about involvement, transparency, confusion and COVID fatigue. The letter echoes points made in recent correspondence to the governor from the Washington State Association of Counties and Washington State Association of Local Public Health Officials.
Read the Commissioners' letter here. The letter from the associations of counties and health officials is also attached.
County Commissioners announce the appointment of Alexander Wisniewski as the new director of the Kitsap County Parks Department. He begins service on Jan. 19, 2021. He will manage the county's more than 60 parks, greenways and open spaces, totaling nearly 11,000 acres, in addition to the Kitsap County Fairgrounds and Events center and other community recreation facilities.
Commissioners are excited to bring new leadership to the Kitsap County team to take over the helm of the Parks Department. With experience in parks systems large and small, Wisniewski will be well positioned to build upon successes in county parks, as he joins other Parks staff in serving the community. He has a deep background in parks administration, maintenance, planning, development and community involvement.
Wisniewski, a resident of North Kitsap, has worked for Port Townsend's Parks, Recreation and Community Services since 2014 and as director since 2017, managing a $2 million operating budget and staff of over 30. During his tenure, he led the update of the city's parks, recreation and open space plan, oversaw maintenance for city hall and other facilities, and supervised community volunteer projects and partnerships.
He previously worked for the Bainbridge Island Metro Park and Recreation District as horticulture supervisor and serves on its Parkland Acquisition Advisory Committee and Trails Advisory Committee.
"My career has taken me across the country and allowed me to work for national forests and state, county, and city parks. My approach to leading a parks and recreation department is rather simple: I am community-centered," Wisniewski said. "I listen to what the community is saying they want and then do my best to align those desires with mission, resources, and funding to make them possible. I am very excited to work with the great staff and team in Kitsap County Parks and to serve the residents of Kitsap County!"
Prior to his career in Washington, Wisniewski served as maintenance and operations manager of Coconino County Parks and Recreation in Flagstaff, Ariz. There he led strategic and master planning, private-public partnerships, resource management, community volunteer projects and multi-agency collaborations. He has also worked as an assistant park manager and park ranger with Arizona State Parks.
He earned a bachelor's degree in parks administration from Michigan State University and a master's degree in business administration from Western Governors University. He is certified as a parks and recreation professional through the National Recreation and Parks Association. His hobbies include mountain biking, landscape photography, backpacking, disc golf and cross-country skiing.
"I am a lifelong parks and recreation lover, dating back to my childhood experiences," he noted. "Today, as a parks professional, I certainly have an obligation and desire to ensure parks and other public areas and programs are safe and up to the best standards possible. But these are merely a means to an end – my true passion is creating experiences and memories for others through the enjoyment of parks."
Wisniewski replaces Jim Dunwiddie who retired this month after leading the Parks Department since 2009.
Kitsap County's new Parks Director Andrew Wisniewski
(Port Orchard, WA) – Brownsville Highway NE remains closed between both ends of South Keyport Road. Heavy rains produced additional flow and pressure that caused leaks in a sewer pipe north of the Central Kitsap Treatment Plant. County crews repaired the pipe yesterday afternoon, but the road remains closed.
"Heavy rain over the past week combined with the leaking pipe to undermine material under the roadway," according to Joe Rutan, Assistant Director. Flows from the leaking pipe were controlled by utility crews to limit the impact. About 12,000 gallons spilled west of the roadway into a natural vegetated area. County staff cleaned the area.
"The pipe on that line is over 40 years old making maintenance challenging," says Stella Vakarcs, Senior Program Manager for the sewer utility. "We maintain the pipe as best as possible to stay ahead of issues, but heavy rainfall puts added stress on old pipes," Vakarcs said.
That section of pipe is scheduled for replacement. "That work is part of the larger Bangor/Keyport Forcemain Replacement project currently in design," added Vakarcs. You can find more information about the project at
The County is exploring options to temporarily stabilize soils around the pipe to prevent further breaks until the pipe can be replaced. The road remains closed until those repairs are made. More information about the length of the closure is expected as the stabilization work continues.
Watch the County's Inclement Weather page at kcowa.us/iw for updates to this closure.
Contact: Stella Vakarcs | Senior Program Manager – Sewer Utility | 360.337.4896 | email@example.com
As Kitsap County mobilizes and shifts part of its COVID-19 response to supporting the distribution of a long-awaited vaccine, we feel a renewed sense of hope that the virus will be under control in 2021. But even with vaccinations underway for first responders, health care providers and our vulnerable residents in long-term care facilities, COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Kitsap. Since the beginning of December, over 3,000 new local cases were reported. That number grew from 2,000 in just 23 days. The virus also contributed to the death of 31 of our community members and their loss is felt deeply.
So much has changed in our daily lives – how we work, play, learn, socialize – since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Kitsap March 8. There are many shared experiences the last 10 months in staying home, balancing teleworking with schooling children, missing or postponing milestone celebrations in person, struggling with fears and uncertainty, unemployment and loss of business revenue. It’s been more challenging than we could have imagined last spring, but Kitsap’s resilience is stronger than ever and provides a beacon of light through these dark times.
Even with physical distancing and separation, people are supporting each other with extraordinary effort and actions. As 2020 comes to an end, we continue to focus on overcoming the impacts of this pandemic. Nothing is more important than ensuring the health and safety of our communities, workforce and businesses. We ask for your continued compassion, patience and vigilance in continuing to practice safety precautions through the coming months as COVID-19 is brought under control so we can all get back to doing what we want to do.
Last week, Kitsap County Commissioners passed a resolution summarizing local allocations of millions in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding we received through Nov. 30 to assist in responding to the pandemic’s impacts on individuals, businesses and schools.
Commissioners directed expenditures of CARES funds to support additional staffing in the Kitsap Public Health District and Emergency Operations Center, county operations and personnel related to COVID response, public outreach and education, and the purchase of equipment and other supplies necessary for the public health response. We also allocated $1.84 million to assist small businesses, non-profit organizations and local chambers of commerce; $1.7 million to schools and student assistance for distance learning, related technology, food and facility improvements; $136,000 to food banks; $750,000 for mortgage and rental relief for low-income residents; and nearly $2 million to provide shelter for those living without homes and others who need a safe place to quarantine and isolate when at risk of spreading the virus in their households.
CARES funds also support the coordination of community COVID test sites, distribution of tens of thousands of units of personal protection equipment to doctors and dentist offices, clinics and businesses, a warehouse to store these vital supplies and now assistance in the mobilization for COVID vaccinations.
COVID-19 continues to significantly press upon the public’s health, emotions and our local economy. We are hopeful additional funds will soon be available through the state and federal governments to ensure the well-being of residents, keep our businesses open and the economy strong
We extend gratitude to everyone who has joined in the fight against COVID-19: frontline healthcare workers, health district and county staff, community partners and hundreds of volunteers. Our appreciation extends to everyone doing their part to respond to this unprecedented health crisis. Thank you! You make us prouder than ever to call Kitsap home.
Your outpouring of support and care for each other, endurance, safe practices and acts of generosity and kindness help strengthen the resilience in us all. Stay strong - we’ll get through this together!
Kitsap County CommissionersCharlotte Garrido, ChairRob GelderEd Wolfe
Here are the waste facility closures during the Holidays
The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners on Nov. 9 approved the allocation of $5.5 million in funds generated from the 1/10th of 1 percent sales and use tax, designated for mental health, chemical dependency and therapeutic court services in Kitsap County. The awards follow the recommendations of the Kitsap County Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Therapeutic Court Citizens Advisory Committee.
“These awards help fill funding gaps and go directly to support programs and services that serve those suffering from mental illness or drug and alcohol dependency,” said Charlotte Garrido, chair of the Board of Commissioners. “Developing a more systematic approach through a continuum of care model diverts individuals from hospitals, jail and the courts into crisis intervention and therapeutic services. This directly benefits the individuals and our communities.”
The Commissioner-appointed, 11-member citizens advisory committee on Oct. 20 voted unanimously to recommend $5.5 million in funding for a 12-month period for 23 of the 26 proposals submitted.
“The CAC evaluated 26 submissions, requesting a total of $7.2 million in funding,” noted Jeannie Screws, chair of the advisory committee. “These submissions were closely reviewed and each of the proposers was interviewed. The committee considered each proposal in relation to the County’s continuum of care, strategic plan for services and available funds. The process was extremely difficult due to the needs of the community being even greater this year and funding lower than anticipated. Each proposal offered services that would benefit our community greatly.”
Fifteen of the programs approved for funding were continuation proposals from the current funding year. These include a variety of therapeutic court programs such as behavioral health court, juvenile individualized and drug courts, adult drug court and veterans courts. Law enforcement received funding for programs that include crisis intervention training, hiring a crisis intervention officer to coordinate response for behavioral health calls, and for reentry services in the jail.
Eight of the programs approved for funding are new. These include awards to the City of Poulsbo and Poulsbo Fire Department to implement Kitsap County Fire CARES (Community Assistance, Referral, and Education Services). Peninsula Community Health Services will provide integrated care coordination program with wraparound services, behavioral health and primary care services.
Five of the funded projects, including those for Kitsap Rescue Mission and Kitsap Homes of Compassion, focus on housing and hiring specialists to support individuals with behavioral health issues.
A complete list of the funding recommendations approved by Commissioners is available here.
For more information, contact Gay Neal, program coordinator in the Kitsap County Department of Human Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-337-4827.
More than one member of our staff has tested positive for COVID-19. To protect the public and the rest of our staff:
Our office will be closed to the public through Friday November13, 2020.
Because of the unpredictable nature of this virus, we cannot promise that this closure will not be extended or made more complete. Please check our website for further information.
If you only want to file papers, you can leave them in the tray on the cart marked for that purpose. Staff will be working. If you have a new case, you can file it by email following the guidelines posted on our website.
If you have questions, please email either Rebecca Wildes at email@example.com or David Lewis (firstname.lastname@example.org). Or call 360-337-7164.
If you have an emergency, or need to file for a Protection Order, please knock on the door.
Passport processing is temporarily suspended.
The Kitsap County Department of Human Services invites the public to participate in a community survey to provide input for its update to the Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Therapeutic Court Program Strategic Plan. Take the survey here. It will remain open through Oct. 15.
In September 2013, the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners adopted the treatment sales tax, authorizing 1/10th of 1 percent of sales and use tax to be designated for funding of mental health, chemical dependency and therapeutic drug court programs. In collaboration with community leaders and subject-matter experts, the department developed a six-year strategic plan for behavioral health services that guides distribution of funds.
The strategic plan informs a Commissioner-appointed citizens advisory committee as it reviews applications for annual treatment sales tax funding and makes award recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners. Gaps identified in this community survey will help community leaders and behavioral health professionals as they update the current strategic plan and establish funding objectives and strategies for future years.
The link to the original strategic plan is available here. To learn more about the treatment sales tax program, click here.
For more contact Gay Neal, Program Coordinator, Kitsap County Human Services, at 360-337-4827, email@example.com.
The Kitsap County Fire Marshal announced this morning that, effective immediately and due to the return to fall weather patterns, the summer's outdoor burn bans have been lifted.
As of Friday, September 25, 2020 all outdoor burning may resume subject to the normal rules and regulations. Land clearing burning is still prohibited throughout the county and burning permits are required for general outdoor burning. Permits are available free of charge through local fire districts' websites. Recreational burning (fires of less than 3'x3'x2′ in a designated pit and containing only seasoned firewood or charcoal) may be conducted without permits.
A Stage 1 Outdoor Burn Ban was implemented on July 30 due to rising fire danger and the risk posed by outdoor burning. Between 80 - 90% of all wildfires are human-caused and escaped outdoor fires are the leading source. The ban was elevated to Stage 2 on September 8 due to worsening conditions that included stretched firefighting resources as wind-driven fires broke out across the state. "The return of fall rains has decreased fire danger enough to allow outdoor burning again," says Kitsap County Fire Marshal David Lynam. He adds his appreciation for everyone's patience as officials waited for moisture levels to be restored to the region's parched landscape. Until earlier this week, less than an inch of rain had fallen since the end of June. "I know there has been rain, but it has taken some time for the moisture to soak in."
Despite the improvement in fire danger, Lynam urges the public to exercise caution when burning and to consider the impact of smoke on neighbors. Find links to local fire districts and the outdoor burning rules on the fire marshal's web page.
Kitsap County Commissioners are about to get underway with the 2021 budget review, a challenging task in coming months as they work with county departments to create a balanced budget during these times of uncertainty brought on by impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The public is invited to listen in as Kitsap County departments and offices present their 2021 budget requests to the Board of County Commissioners from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both Monday, Sept. 14 and Wednesday, Sept. 16.
Click here to see the full schedule and information on how to attend each session, which will be held remotely via Zoom. Due to the compressed nature of these departmental presentations, the public is invited to listen but there will not be opportunities for public comment. Questions and comments may be submitted in advance to Administrative Services Director Amber D'Amato at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most county departments were asked to create a 2021 budget with a 10-percent reduction from 2020. This is based on projections for 2021 that indicate a continuing decline of retail sales tax, one of the primary sources of revenue to the county's general fund that finances the majority of traditional county services. Presentations will reflect how departments are going to accommodate this cut, what it means to current services and how those will be maintained while scaling back associated costs.
County Commissioners will be joined by a citizens budget committee during the departmental presentations. Supporting documents for all budget requests and the deliberation schedule will be posted on the Department of Administrative Services website here.
Budget deliberations begin Sept. 23 with preliminary decisions made by the end of October. The final 2021 budget will be adopted in December after public hearings.
To learn more about the Kitsap County budget, review previously adopted budgets and find out how local tax dollars are spent, click here.
For more informaition, contact Kris Carlson, Financial Supervisor of the Kitsap County Department of Administrative Services, at email@example.com, (360) 337-4417.
Due to rising fire danger and stretched resources, Kitsap County Fire Marshal David Lynam expanded the current burn ban to prohibit all outdoor fires, effective immediately and until further notice.
Under a Stage 2 Fire Danger Burn Ban, no open burning is allowed. All outdoor burning permits remain suspended, recreational fires are prohibited, and only propane or natural gas-fueled cooking fires are allowed.
The move is prompted by several factors. Hot and dry weather has made conditions ripe for ignition and fast fire spread, and forecasts predict more of the same. Multiple local brush fires broke out over the weekend, underscoring the danger. Large fires in progress across the state have depleted all but local firefighting resources.
"Escaped outdoor fires are a leading cause of wildland fires," noted Kitsap County Fire Marshal David Lynam. "Given these circumstances, the best way to prevent a big incident in our county right now is by preventing it from starting in the first place."
While outdoor fires are to blame for many dangerous brush fires, there are other causes as well. "The situation is serious, and we really need everyone's help limiting all ignition sources," Lynam said.
Dispose of smoking materials properly. Secure trailer chains to prevent sparks. Practice fire-safe target shooting (where target shooting is allowed). Defer mowing until conditions improve.
For burn ban status updates, contact the Kitsap County Fire Marshal's Office at 360-337-5777, visit https://www.kitsapgov.com/dcd/Pages/Burn-Ban-Information.aspx or your local fire district.
(Port Orchard, WA) -- Appraisers from the Kitsap County Assessor's Office are now conducting on-site inspections throughout the Bremerton area. Washington State Law (RCW 84.40.025) requires inspections of all real property throughout the county at least once every six years. The current inspections should be completed by April 2021.
Appraisers from the Kitsap County Assessor's Office will be following social distancing protocols to ensure the safety of the public and staff. Appraisers will attempt to stay in their vehicles while making onsite inspections and we have discouraged appraisers from making contact with the property occupant. If you need to approach an appraiser we ask that you please maintain at least six feet of physical distance.
Our appraisers do not drive county-issued vehicles; however, their vehicles are marked with the proper county identification on both sides. Other verification options are to request to see individual credentials, contact our office at 360-337-7160, or check our inspection area progress map on our website at www.kitsapgov.com/assessor.
The cooperation of the public is always appreciated by our staff. We look forward to working with you and answering your questions.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and women’s constitutional right to vote, Kitsap County will light up the County Administration Building in the official suffrage colors of purple and gold today, joining buildings and landmarks across the country as part of the nationwide Forward Into Light Campaign, named in honor of the historic suffrage slogan, “Forward through the Darkness, Forward into Light.”
August 26 marks the official 100th anniversary of the certification of the 19th Amendment into the Constitution of the United States of America. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and others first seriously proposed women's right to vote at Seneca Falls, New York, on July 19, 1848. Susan B. Anthony joined forces with Ms. Stanton in 1851, and they worked together over the next half-century for women's right to vote.
Carrie Chapman Catt, founder and early leader of the League of Women Voters, entered the struggle later and became a leader in the suffragist movement that helped lead it its success. These three women and many others endured public humiliation, ridicule and even jail so that women of the past, present and future can vote.
To mark this historic day, the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners issued a proclamation Monday declaring Aug. 26 as Women's Equality Day to celebrate passage of the 19th Amendment. The Kitsap League of Women Voters was on hand to read the proclamation.
Purple and gold lights will illuminate the County Administration Building, located at 619 Division Street in Port Orchard, through Sept. 3.
To read the Commissioners' proclamation, click here. To learn more about nationwide celebrations of the women's right to vote, visit https://www.womensvote100.org/suffragemonth.
Photo credit: New York picketers at the White House, January 26, 1917. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
Seabeck Holly Road NW closes to through traffic between Foley Lane and Larson Lane from August 12 to December 31, 2020 to construct a 60-foot bridge over Seabeck Creek. Contractors for the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group in partnership with Kitsap County will replace an undersized 72-inch culvert allowing for better fish passage upstream. Through traffic is diverted to NW Holly Road as an alternative route. Learn more about the project details and detour route by visiting kcowa.us/seabeckholly.
This project will also allow floodwaters to pass unobstructed as well as improve fish passage after a history of industrial-scale logging and rural development in that area. The Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group plans to add large woody debris to the creek to improve habitat complexity and provide roughness to retain sediment. An aggressive re-vegetation effort involves the planting of over 3,200 native plants. Native plants help create cooler water for fish, provide bank stabilization, and encourage a healthy and diverse ecosystem of local birds, bugs, and other mammals.
For more information: Kitsap1, 360.337.5777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Under a Stage I burning ban, all outdoor burning is prohibited except for small recreational fires in approved fire pits and appliances, or as allowed in established campgrounds. The outdoor burning ban shall remain in effect until further notice.
According to Fire Marshal David Lynam, "The cooler and wet weather delayed implementation of a ban for several weeks this year. But, with the hot and dry weather we have recently experienced, fuels are thoroughly dried out." The Fire Marshal also identifies the increase in fires in other parts of the state. That increase draws upon resources that might otherwise be available in Kitsap County to fight a wildfire.
For additional information, concerns, or questions please contact your local fire district or the county Fire Marshal at (360) 337-5777.
Kitsap County has contracted with Kitsap Community Resources to provide $525,000 in temporary financial rental and mortgage assistance to low-income county residents who have lost their jobs or are struggling financially due to the economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds are provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of the federal government.
Temporary financial assistance to qualifying individuals helps promote public welfare by lessening the financial impact caused by sudden job loss and potentially prevents more intractable problems such as long-term unemployment, hunger and homelessness.
"These funds will make an important difference to hundreds of Kitsap County families during this difficult time and we are proud to partner with Kitsap Community Resources to make this happen," said Commissioner Charlotte Garrido, chair of the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners.
Kitsap Community Resources will administer the CARES Act COVID-19 Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program in partnership with Kitsap County and identify and select qualified households to participate. The program provides short-term assistance (maximum of three months) to approximately 400 Kitsap households meeting the following criteria:
Preference will be given to applicants who have not received previous rental or mortgage assistance since March 1, 2020.
Kitsap County residents interested in this program can visit the Kitsap Community Resources at https://www.kcr.org/ or call (360) 473-2035.
Volunteers are needed to staff Kitsap County Quarantine and Isolation (Q&I) site for individuals who've been exposed to or tested positive for COVID-19, and lack safe alternatives for housing. The site is open to guests who choose to participate, are medically-stable and have been referred by a healthcare professional or public health official.
Q&I is maintained and managed by Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management as a key tool in the battle against the spread of COVID-19, providing a place for people who are wanting to protect other household members from infection, or experiencing homelessness.
Q&I site volunteers serve in an on-call capacity and fill shifts around the clock when the site is activated, working to provide basic needs to guests. These tasks include delivery of food along with health checks, checking in and checking out of referred individuals and daily reporting to emergency managers.
Volunteers are provided training on all appropriate PPE as well as on steps that minimize possible exposure. There is continuous on-site security, personal space and access to wi-fi; volunteers work in teams and site managers are also available to support volunteer staff.
To help fill this vital need, please go to bit.ly/KitsapQIVolunteerInfo for more information or email email@example.com. Click this link https://bit.ly/KCEmergencyWorker to complete an application to volunteer as a disaster emergency worker.
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