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Bremerton Salvation Army’s shelter opens

Navy Chaplain Cmdr. Manuel A. (Don) Biadog Jr. leads a dedication prayer for Sally’s Camp, the Bremerton Salvation Army’s new temporary homeless shelter Monday. Mayor Patty Lent and Maj. Jim Baker with the Bremerton Salvation Army stand behind him.  - Kristin Okinaka/staff photo
Navy Chaplain Cmdr. Manuel A. (Don) Biadog Jr. leads a dedication prayer for Sally’s Camp, the Bremerton Salvation Army’s new temporary homeless shelter Monday. Mayor Patty Lent and Maj. Jim Baker with the Bremerton Salvation Army stand behind him.
— image credit: Kristin Okinaka/staff photo

The Bremerton Salvation Army’s homeless shelter had its ceremonial opening Monday and another Bremerton shelter is in the works.

“I appreciate the great heart in being able to do this,” said Maj. Jim Baker of the Bremerton Salvation Army as he acknowledged the organizations including the Bremer Trust, the Bremerton Housing Authority and individuals such as Mayor Patty Lent, who helped get the operation up and running.

The shelter, located at 900 Pacific Ave. and known as Sally’s Camp, has tents set up in the former Bremerton Municipal Court building for homeless families with children. It is a temporary shelter that will not operate for more than six months. Families will receive case management from Kitsap Community Resources.

“This is only the beginning,” said Lent, who acknowledged an earlier plan to place the encampment at the Salvation Army location on Sixth Street. “We’re glad it’s not in your parking lot.”

Another shelter, planned by the Bremerton Rescue Mission along with the Weaver Foundation, will open in March. The new shelter will target homeless women with children and will be located at a former Bremerton Police Department building, at 4846 Auto Center Way. In January, it was expected to open in mid-February, but now the plan is to open the first week of March, said Bremerton Rescue Mission Executive Director Walt Le Couteur Tuesday. The shelter will accommodate seven women with their children and run until the beginning of summer. During the summer months, the facility will be used as a resource center rather than a homeless shelter.

The lease agreement is currently being arranged with Paratransit Services, the building owner, Le Couteur said. A few modifications will be made to the building, including putting a door inside to provide privacy and inserting platforms to adhere to the city fire code, he added.

While efforts for this second shelter are underway, up to 17 families at a time will have a safe place to stay at Sally’s Camp.

“This represents the community giving,” Baker said.

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