Emergency Shelter Project
Over the past few years, there has been a noted rise in homelessness, both in our city and across the nation. This issue has tested the limits of the City’s resources and our commitment to ensuring that every member of our community has access to safe, dignified, and stable housing. In coordination with the newly adopted unauthorized camping ordinance, the City is establishing an emergency shelter, with the goal to address the immediate needs of the homeless while ensuring our Parks, neighborhoods, and other public spaces are protected from unregulated camping.
The City has contracted with RPM, a firm with expertise in rapidly responding to homelessness issues by creating plans and designing various shelter models for communities across the western United States. For Bremerton, RPM will review local area needs to help understand which type of shelter can best address the impacts of homelessness on the local community and will specifically evaluate three shelter options including a sanctioned tent encampment, a tiny home village, and a Sprung Structure. See below a copy of RPM’s statement of qualifications and their scope of work.
Over the past several months the administration has been reviewing city owned parcels to determine their feasibility for a facility to support people experiencing homelessness. We have completed that evaluation and a team is preparing the site for development as an emergency shelter. Site selection is first step in the development of an emergency shelter and regular updates on the project will be provided.
Mayor Wheeler and City Staff provided an update to City Council on October 11, 2023.
Mayor Wheeler and staff gave a project update to City Council on October 25, 2023.
The City owned property directly north of the Public Works and Utilities Facility at 100 Oyster Bay Avenue North has been identified for development for a shelter. The City purchased the property in 2019 for the purpose of future expansion of the Public Works and Utilities Facility. An environmental investigation of the site was performed before the purchase to ensure that the property is suitable for development. The investigation found no evidence of wetlands or hazardous materials on the site. A copy of the report is linked below. Additional environmental review may be required for permits for the development of the property. For more information regarding how the site was selected, see the Emergency Shelter Site Presentation (PDF).
Shelter site vicinity map
Mayor Wheeler and staff will give regular updates on the progress of this project to the City Council. Additionally, community outreach will be planned as the site and shelter are developed. Outreach will include a public meeting for neighborhoods nearby the shelter site.