Clallam County considers grant to study homeless issues

Commissioners could approve funds next week

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County has received a $100,000 grant to conduct a needs assessment for the homeless population.

The three commissioners vetted the proposed agreement with the state Department of Commerce on Monday for possible approval next Tuesday.

Kevin LoPiccolo, county Health and Human Services deputy director, said the funding would be used to identify needs such as affordable housing, low-barrier shelter, transitional housing and case management.

“Our goal is to create an RFP (request for proposals) to have the needs assessment completed by an outside agency, with the hope to help implement some of the results from it,” said Jennifer Oppelt, behavioral health program coordinator, in the commissioners’ work session Monday.

Information from the needs assessment would be used by the county’s Homelessness Task Force to influence five- and 10-year plans to reduce homelessness, Oppelt said.

Commissioner Randy Johnson said a mental health component would be “paramount.”

“We need to measure that as one of the unfortunate shortfalls we have,” Johnson said.

Oppelt said the needs assessment would cover treatment for mental health and substance use disorders. She added that the goal will be to identify gaps in services.

“I would be interested, as it takes a little bit more shape, to hear a little bit more about it,” Board Chairman Mark Ozias said.

“I’m keen to understand how the information that we hope to collect will be utilized and how we can plug that into the funding recommendations that the Homelessness Task Force makes.”

In other discussion Monday, commissioners reviewed a continued agreement with Kitsap Public Health District for a youth marijuana prevention and education program that began in 2018.

Christine Dunn, county prevention and linkage to care coordinator, said the $42,244 agreement would fund the program through next June.

Commissioners are expected to sign the agreement next Tuesday.

“It is basically working on preventing youth use and education throughout the county, not only among youth but among the general population, and also increasing the perception of harm of youth use,” Dunn told commissioners Monday.

“We’re working on several different mechanisms to make that happen,” she added. “One of them is working on local policy systems and environmental changes.

“We’re also going to be working on presentations at the community level to kind of increase the community’s awareness of what it is we’re doing, or trying to accomplish, with the program.”

Clallam County Health and Human Services has provided information to marijuana retailers to share with customers and participated in statewide marijuana prevention groups, Dunn said.

“We’re also exploring the opportunity locally to work with our pediatric clinics to get youth marijuana, vaping and just youth marijuana use screening questions added to their general questionnaire so that we can start getting treatment for kids that are using in the door,” Dunn said

“The perception of harm about marijuana is really low, and that’s one of the things that we are hoping to rectify in this coming year.”


Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at [email protected].

More in News

COVID death youngest on Peninsula

Clallam man in his 50s

Peninsula COVID-19 cases, infection rates reported

Sunday’s toll: 12 more in Clallam, none in Jefferson

During She Tells Sea Tales on Saturday, Joyce Gustafson of Port Townsend will offer the story of events that set the course for her life. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
She Tells Sea Tales brings adventure online

Sailors applaud women choosing unusual directions

Geoduck harvesting area shut down after diver’s death

Port Angeles man, 35, dies after air tube apparently entangled in debris

FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2014, file photo, endangered orcas from the J pod swim in Puget Sound west of Seattle, as seen from a federal research vessel that has been tracking the whales. A new study from federal researchers provides the most detailed look yet at what the Pacific Northwest's endangered orcas eat. Scientists with the NOAA Fisheries Northwest Fisheries Science Center spent years collecting fecal samples from the whales as well as scales from the fish they devoured. They say their data reaffirm the central importance of Chinook salmon to the whales. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Study: Chinook salmon are key to Northwest orcas all year

Data confirm central importance of the largest of the species

A webcam shot at Hurricane Ridge shows deep snow Thursday morning.
Olympic Mountains’ snowpack well-fed

Storms leave region in good shape for summer

A boat sits moored next to several boathouses at Port Angeles Boat Haven on Thursday. Port of Port Angeles commissioners are suggesting replacing boat houses with floating homes. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Port of Port Angeles suggests floating homes

Agency sends letter to council asking to remove ban

Skipper Jared Minard, left, and Ella Ventura, boatswain, accept the Hiltner Trophy for Sea Scout Ship Marvin Shields. The Chief Seattle Council named the Sea Scout Ship Marvin Shields, ship 1212, as its fleet flagship during a recent award ceremony. The selection as flagship allows the Marvin Shields to retain the traveling Hiltner Trophy and fly the flagship pennant at its masthead for the second year. The Sea Scouts is a program for youth ages 14-20. For more information, visit
Sea Scout Ship Marvin Shields named fleet flagship

The Chief Seattle Council named the Sea Scout Ship Marvin Shields, ship… Continue reading

Sinclair Place resident Martin Arnold cuts the ribbon to mark the start of the the senior living facility’s Freedom Ceremony. 

The ceremony marks the fact that 100 percent of the residents have been vaccinated which allows the facility to ease rules regarding movement out into the community. 

Pictured on the left is Victorya Rivera, community relations manager at Sinclair Place.
Ribbon cutting marks 100 percent vaccination for facility

Sinclair Place resident Martin Arnold cuts the ribbon to mark the start… Continue reading

Most Read