⇒ The MISSION of Kitsap Homes of Compassion is to create affordable, permanent supportive housing (PSH) and other resources for those experiencing homelessness, using shared housing as well as private apartment units.
⇒ VISION STATEMENT: Kitsap Homes of Compassion envisions a future Kitsap County where homelessness has been eliminated and everyone has a safe, supportive, permanent home.
⇒ Our GOAL is to provide stable, supportive housing and opportunity for those in difficult circumstances such as poverty, domestic violence, or debilitating physical/mental health issues that resulted in homelessness.
Kitsap Homes of Compassion also advocates for the creation of more affordable housing inventory of all types. It encourages research into creative approaches to find viable, sustainable, healthy, safe, permanent solutions to housing people with lower income. It also encourages research in best practices for independent living for those with various mental health issues.
Homelessness in Kitsap County has grown to an unacceptable level. Immediate action is required to preserve life, especially of our vulnerable, elderly and disabled populations. The inhumane conditions of the homeless in our modern, wealthy society demand immediate steps be taken by the citizens of our county to end this unnecessary, meaningless suffering.
KHOC is interested in more than just creating housing. It is creating “family homes” where its participants are “members” of the KHOC family. Each new home creates a “family.” Members are treated with respect and dignity. And KHOC’s goal is to create opportunities for activities/field trips as well as part-time employment opportunities. Complete wellness, wholeness, and healthy relationships are our objectives.
Kitsap Homes of Compassion is currently operated by a highly qualified, trained, fully volunteer staff.
KHOC has five housing programs, reaching various homeless populations in Kitsap County.
1. Mature Adult Program
This is KHOC’s largest program. This program is for unsheltered homeless single men and women who are at least 40 years old. KHOC has women’s homes and men’s homes. The average age for this program is around 60 years old. The average KHOC home/family size is 5 people. KHOC’s goal is to provide trained house managers, have volunteers to organize field trips/activities, volunteers as companions/advocates, and volunteers to be employment coaches for those seeking employment. KHOC seeks to network with local physical and mental health services, as well as County occupational/vocational services.
2. Single mother with small child Program
This is KHOC’s program for young, single mothers who have one or two children under the age of 8 y.o., and who are facing homelesssness. Some may need a new home due to domestic violence, a health condition, or rejection by family. Whatever the case, KHOC wants to help. KHOC creates “family homes” of up to 5 mothers per home, where everyone can feel like they have a family that cares. Most mothers work part-time jobs to help support themselves.
3. Houses for U.S. Veterans
KHOC, in partnership with Kitsap County Veterans Advisory Board (VAB), has opened a home for veteran men. As soon as we have 3 approved women, a home for homeless women veterans will be opened. These courageous men and women have risked their lives to protect our freedom, we must step up and partner with them to be successful in life again in their time of need.
4. Olympic College Program
There are over a hundred Olympic College students who are homeless for one reason or another. Starting September 1st, 2019, KHOC, in partnership with Olympic College and Coffee Oasis, has created a program to fill this need. Coffee Oasis will provide the case management and KHOC is providing the housing and house management.
5. Houses for Kitsap Immigrant Families
All humans have a right to migrate, especially when facing violence and poverty like we see in parts of Central America today. For centuries people from all over the world have come to America to build new lives. Immigrants have strengthened our country and enriched our society. But migrant families in Kitsap County from Central America are having difficulty renting homes for their families due to lack of U.S. documentation, while they are applying for asylum. KHOC, in partnership with the Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center (KIAC) http://kitsapiac.org/, has formed an alliance to fill the gap. KIAC members can find all KHOC’s documents/applications translated into Spanish here. Everyone deserves a home, including hard working asylum seekers.
6. Young Adult Program
Started in January 2020, this program is identical to “Mature Adult Program” above, except is for homeless singles with age range 18 to 40 years old. (Those younger than 25 y.o., KHOC is working in collaboration with Coffee Oasis).
KHOC Programs Coming Soon
Adult Couples Program
Scheduled to start in late-2020, this program is identical to “Mature Adult Program” above, except it will be for homeless couples without children.
KHOC Program Elements
KHOC seeks to make the following elements a part of its housing system. KHOC does not have enough funding or volunteers/human resources/ to see all of these elements currently in its program – but it is our vision and goal for the future:
1. Housing First
Providing a clean, private room with a key locking door, with shared common areas of a single family home, for an affordable monthly price. The cost of utilities are included with the monthly fee. Also included in the fee is WiFi internet, cable TV, and a landline house phone – these items help members connect to the larger world, pursue employment, and connect with family and friends. The houses are to be equipped with a shared computer which the members can use to access the internet and training opportunities.
2. Being a “Family” Member
Being a member of KHOC house means being a part of a household, or family, that is respectful of one another. It means the end of isolation and being a part of a group. It means working together as a team to complete house chores, allowing for smooth operation of a home. Developing improved social skills is key to success in life.
3. Computer access and support
The houses are to be equipped with a shared computer which the members can use to access the internet, jobs, and training opportunities. KHOC computer staff and volunteers help provide support and connect KHOC members with County training resources at WorkSource Kitsap. All homes have high speed internet WiFi.
4. Discovering your Strengths
Everyone has strengths. Some people are not aware of their strengths. StrengthFinder from Gallup by Don Clifton offers a wonderful assessment to find out your strengths, and KHOC staff will assist KHOC members take the assessment and discover their strengths. With this information, members will have more information to pursue employment opportunities and/or hobbies, interests and activities. It has been proven that people live happier and more fulfilled lives when they are working from their strengths. Many people that have physical or mental disabilities have been told negative things about themselves that are not true. The reality is, everyone has gifts and strengths, areas where they are above-average, and have valuable skills to add to society.
5. Planned Group Activities and Field Trips
KHOC Activity Coordinators (both from House Members themselves and KHOC Volunteers) will provide planned group activities and weekly field trips in which members can voluntarily participate. Being involved in group activities is fun, helps develop social skills, can provide physically healthy exercise, and are often opportunities for learning.
6. Employment Program
KHOC would like to provide members – whatever their previous work experience – with job readiness skills, and long-term employment acquisition that enables them to regain the confidence and motivation needed to obtain greater economic independence. Helping members find and keep jobs within the larger community is to become a major goal of KHOC.
People living with serious mental illness face extensive challenges to gaining successful, paid employment. To take on these challenges, KHOC hopes to offer a variety of employment opportunities for its members to pursue, based on their interests and skills.
What is Transitional Employment and Supported Employment?
Transitional Employment (TE) is a part-time work program that sets members up to work in companies around Kitsap County. This, combined with work that members do within KHOC, gives them the skills and experience they need to find permanent employment.
Supported Employment (SE) is a competitive process in which members contend for jobs at Kitsap County organizations against others that do not face the same challenges. KHOC would like to help its members navigate this process by building relationships with employers and providing member training and support.