Jefferson, Bayside to manage shelter

County would fund effort between organizations

PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson County will take over operating the homeless shelter in Port Townsend at the end of the month and will work with Bayside Housing and Services to manage the facility.

The county has been looking into managing the shelter after its current operator, Olympic Community Action Programs (OlyCAP), announced in March it could no longer afford to continue running it.

District 3 Commissioner Greg Brotherton said during Monday’s meeting of the board of county commissioners that the county is working on a three-way memorandum of understanding between Jefferson County, Bayside and the American Legion Marvin G. Shields Memorial Post 26, where the shelter is located in the basement.

“It’s moving along,” Brotherton said. “We’re not looking right now at county operations.”

The county is still working with the American Legion to negotiate a utilities agreement, and a coalition of organizations is working with local faith groups to secure food donations.

Bayside Executive Director Heather Dudley-Nollette previously told commissioners the organization could provide personnel to run the shelter, but it could not provide financial support.

Commissioners previously expressed concern at taking over the management of a homeless shelter — which is not something the county typically does — but they said they didn’t want to see the area not have one available.

Since 2019, a federal court ruling in city of Boise, Idaho v. Martin, found that cities cannot prohibit homeless people from camping in public spaces if no shelter beds are available. Another case regarding the issue — City of Grants Pass, Oregon v. Johnson — is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court with a decision pending.

OlyCAP interim executive director Tammy Lidster previously said it costs between $25,000 and $30,000 a month to operate the shelter, mainly in staff salaries. Much of that cost previously had been covered by COVID-19 pandemic relief funds, but those revenue streams have ended, Lidster said.

At a meeting last month, county officials projected similar costs for the facility with some projections going as low as $20,000 a month depending on staffing and services offered. County projections found between $7,500 and $18,000 in monthly costs are not covered by existing revenue streams.

Commissioners previously discussed redirecting money from the county’s Homeless Housing Fund — Fund 149 — which would require approval by the Housing Fund Board, a joint board between the county and the city of Port Townsend.

A permanent shelter is currently planned for a site next to the Caswell-Brown Village, but OlyCAP is waiting on about $2.2 million for construction with federal funding requests pending.

The county would only operate the shelter at the American Legion until the permanent shelter is completed.

________

Reporter Peter Segall can be reached at peter.segall@peninsulanews.us.

More in News

Print edition available today, e-edition only this Wednesday

Peninsula News has a print edition available to… Continue reading

Port Angeles High School graduates, from left, Uri Crawford, Samantha Combs and Jordan McTear, decorate a vehicle in preparation for Friday’s graduation parade from Ediz Hook to the high school. Dozens of adorned cars and trucks carried grads through the streets of Port Angeles as a lead-up to the graduation ceremony that evening at Civic Field. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula News)
Congrats, grads!

Port Angeles High School graduates, from left, Uri Crawford, Samantha Combs and… Continue reading

Dash Air to leave Port Angeles

‘Nothing to do’ with viability of air service, owner says

Clallam County art barn to get new roof before fair

Commissioners approve $85,000 contract with company from Kent

Sequim schools drop proposal to bump back start time

Survey respondents prefer to keep Greywolf Elementary at 8:30 a.m.

Sequim chamber to host tax credit event

The Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce will host a family… Continue reading

Scheduled Hood Canal bridge closures canceled

Overnight closures of the Hood Canal bridge on state Highway… Continue reading

Weekly flight operations scheduled

There will be field carrier landing practice operations for aircraft… Continue reading

KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS
Three-year-old Archie Hanson takes a spin on a merry-go-round pushed by his mother, Justine Hanson of Port Angeles, with sister Arlene Hanson 7 months, during Sunday's grand reopening of the Dream Playground at Erickson Playfield in Port Angeles. The playground was rebuilt earlier this month by volunteers after an arson fire destroyed much of the playground equipment in December. Although there are still details to attend to and minor adjustments to be made, the facility will be open daily from dawn until dusk.
Grand reopening at Dream Playground

Three-year-old Archie Hanson takes a spin on a merry-go-round pushed by his… Continue reading

Wind returns for Day 3 of Race to Alaska

Teams pushing north along Vancouver Island

Port Townsend pool on track to open in July

Task force favors Chimacum Park for replacement