posted by on December 7, 2011
In 2006 Community Outreach Association Shelter Team (COAST), Olympic Community Action Program (OlyCAP), and American Legion partnered to host a supervised overnight homeless shelter in the basement of the American Legion Hall in downtown Port Townsend. In this partnership American Legion provides the space, OlyCAP provides administration, and COAST provides volunteers. The shelter is open for 110 nights beginning the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The arrangement has operated on a one year lease, renewed each year, between American Legion and OlyCAP, and a one year temporary use permit, renewed annually, from the city of Port Townsend. In the recent shelter off season agreements were reached for a long term lease and a permanent use permit. With the agreements as a foundation for the future Les Rubin, CFO of OlyCap, Richard Berg, Architect from Terrapin Architecture, and Joe Carey, Commander of the Port Townsend American Legion began working on a plan for improvements to the space. The Rotary Club of Port Townsend gave the plans a start by hosting a dinner and auction to raise funds for appliance upgrades and other kitchen improvements.
Little & Little Construction was awarded the project through the competitive bid process and with only six weeks from award of the contract until the shelter opened we began work immediately. Already, we have improved the emergency exits, removed electrical hazards, added a fire alarm system, and nearly finished adding a restroom, two shower rooms, an office space, a large television room, a monitors station for volunteers, and two sick rooms. We have also insulated and sheetrocked the walls and ceiling, added new efficient lighting fixtures, and a new high efficiency furnace.
We did not do this work alone and the real story of the Homeless Shelter is how a group of people came together to do this big project in a short amount of time. All of the trade partners made the Homeless Shelter a priority and arranged their schedule and worked evenings and weekends so the work would be done in time to offer beds on the scheduled opening date. Working side by side with us were Shawn Canepa Concrete, Bob Brown Plumbing, Craighead Electric, Airflo Heating, Tracy’s Insulation, Bruner Drywall, Hiroshima Painting, Faux Finis, and McCrorie Carpet. The initial push was to have all of the intrusive work; framing, electrical, plumbing, insulation, sheetrock, and paint, completed by the opening date. Now that the shelter is occupied at night, we are working during the day to put the finishing touches on the restrooms and showers, install doors and door hardware and complete the interior trim.
The bulk of the heavy lifting may be done, but the work is not over. COAST needs volunteers to serve as monitors. Volunteer monitors operate in two shifts; 3:45 pm – 11:00 pm and 11:00 pm – 8:00 pm. To find out more about helping as a monitor you can call Kim Hammers at 360-531-0971.Comments 0