Bremerton coffee shop an oasis for the homeless
By STEVEN DEDUAL
Bremerton Patriot Staff Writer
November 26, 2009 · Updated 11:45 AM
Coffee Oasis provides many services to Bremerton’s homeless population.
Many people living on Bremerton’s streets have lost more than their domiciles. Self-esteem and a sense of self-worth are often lost, along with a person’s residence.
But one local coffee shop, Coffee Oasis, is determined to find a way to remedy that problem.
“It’s such a unique model,” Street Hope Coordinator Daniel Frederick said. “I haven’t seen anything like it. What’s great about it is that we have connections with the business community, but we have a lot of job training we can do here. Even with the staff today we have three people in the kitchen doing job training. I can see within the new year us being able to provide 10 job training positions.”
Frederick, the son of Dave Frederick, a former Bremerton Police Department chaplain and pastor at Lincoln Avenue Bible Church, said his father started the non-profit Hope and Christ Ministries in 1997 on Warren Avenue, but quickly outgrew the facility.
“It really just became a place for kids,” Frederick said. “We’d have 150 kids hanging out on Fridays. The place could hold a max of about 50, so they were spilling out into Warren Avenue.”
In 1999, Coffee Oasis moved to its current location at 822 Burwell St., where it continues to provide outreach to not only the homeless, but youth as well. According to Patrick Steele, volunteer staff coordinator, there are several events available for kids.
“We have game nights on Mondays and Thursdays from 5 to 9 p.m.,” he said. “Also, the second Thursday of each month is open mic night from 6:30 to 9 p.m. and every Friday is teen night from 8 to 11 p.m. They can hang out here and food is provided.”
For the homeless, laundry and shower services are available in the Oasis Center in the back of the coffee shop. There also is a clothing closet and a small food pantry.
“We just keep emergency food here,” Frederick said. “We would rather bus someone over to the foodline if they need food because they do that job so much better than we can, but if someone needs some emergency food to last them through the night until the food bank opens, we can at least help them out.”
Every Monday through Friday from 2 to 5 p.m., the homeless are welcome to hang out at the shop and when the weather is cold, the store opens as a severe weather shelter.
This Christmas Eve, Frederick said there will be a dinner served from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
“We have different community organizations providing gifts,” Frederick said. “So there will be gifts for everyone and a huge meal. A lot of the people we work with don’t have a family to go home to, so our staff has become like a family to a lot of them.”
Anyone interested in helping Coffee Oasis with its mission should contact Steele at (360) 621-0112.
“Just like most organizations like ours, we are always in need of volunteers,” he said.Contact Bremerton Patriot Staff Writer Steven DeDual at firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 308-9161.