Fundraiser set to benefit Sarge’s Veteran Support

Minsky Place for elderly or disabled veterans set to open this spring

Sarge’s Place in Forks serves as a homeless shelter for veterans and is run by the nonprofit, a secondhand store and Clallam County homelessness grants and donations. (Sarge’s Veteran Support)

Sarge’s Place in Forks serves as a homeless shelter for veterans and is run by the nonprofit, a secondhand store and Clallam County homelessness grants and donations. (Sarge’s Veteran Support)

SEQUIM — Sarge’s Veteran Support will conduct a fundraiser in Sequim on April 27 featuring an evening of veterans’ stories, program successes, food, drinks and a silent auction.

The event, which will be at the Dungeness River Nature Center, 1943 W. Hendrickson Road, will benefit the nonprofit organization’s Minsky Place, funded by the estate of James Minsky.

Tickets are $75 per person or $400 for a sponsored table of six and can be purchased at sargesveteransupport.com or by mailing a check to Sarge’s Veteran Support, 250 Ash Ave., Forks WA 98331.

The Minsky Place, slated to open this spring in Sequim, will cater to elderly or disabled veterans, said Cheri Tinker, the executive director of Sarge’s Veteran Support, in a recent address to the Forks Chamber of Commerce.

Sarge’s Veterans Support contributed $75,000, and the Sequim VFW, Sequim American Legion and Carlsborg VFW contributed $25,000 together to purchase the building. The total was $100,000, which went to the state VFW.

In addition to housing for veterans, the entity operates the Attic Secondhand store, 110 Spartan Ave. in Forks, which contributes to the programs.

Plans for the future include housing for female veterans, apartment complexes and dedicated housing for active-duty military members in Port Angeles and Sequim.

The genesis of Sarge’s Veteran Support traces back to 2009, when Tinker, then working at FCH-West End Outreach, undertook a homeless count. What she discovered left a mark on her conscience: 77 homeless veterans.

“When I went out in the community and did the count, I was horrified at how many veterans were living homeless,” Tinker said. “My family has a history of serving, and we owe them a roof over their heads for having served this country.”

Tinker approached her boss, Beth Palmer, with a plea to address the issue. With Palmer’s encouragement, Tinker embarked on a mission, spurred further by the support of colleague Ruth King.

“So I got online and researched ‘how to do a shelter,’” Tinker said.

In 2011, with an appropriation from U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Seattle, Sarge’s Place was born. The Peterson Building in Forks was transformed into an eight-bedroom transitional shelter and three two-bedroom permanent supportive housing apartments.

Since then, the organization has provided crucial support to hundreds of veterans, inside and outside the walls, offering not just shelter but essential services through a full-time social worker, case manager and live-in house manager.

The expansion continued in 2014 with the acquisition of The Outpost in Port Angeles, thanks to a grant from the state Department of Commerce Housing Trust Fund. That facility, managed by Peninsula Housing Authority, provides permanent housing for low-income veterans and their families.

In 2015, Sarge’s Veteran Support acquired Camp Sol Duc, further expanding its capacity to serve veterans in need.

The Minsky estate has donated additional funds that have helped pay off Camp Sol Duc and funded much-needed asphalt.

Hobucket House, named in honor of Quileute Veteran Jimmy Hobucket, provides permanent housing for veterans with serious health issues. It was founded in 2022 and was funded through the state Department of Commerce Modular Housing Trust Fund for $876,293. The entire build was $1.3 million.

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