Housing topic of Thursday tent gathering

Officials from city, county, nonprofits to speak

PORT TOWNSEND — Representatives from the city of Port Townsend, Jefferson County and myriad nonprofits will speak about projects to combat the lack of housing in the area on Thursday.

“Under the Tent: Housing Conversations with our Community,” a free, outdoor gathering, is set from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. under the tent at the corner of 22nd Street and San Juan Avenue.

“The exciting thing is the blend of people — the city, the county, the nonprofits — who will be there,” said Debbi Steele, volunteer coordinator for Community Build, which is hosting the event.

Brief presentations are planned by county Commissioner Greg Brotherton, as well as representatives from the City of Port Townsend, Olympic Community Action Programs (OlyCAP), Bayside Housing and Services, Community Outreach Association Shelter Team (COAST), Community Boat Project, Community Build, Habitat for Humanity, Housing Solutions Network, Jefferson Interfaith Action Coalition, Jefferson Land Trust, Olympic Housing Trust and Port Townsend Preservation Alliance.

Each will tell of past and present projects to provide housing for those who can’t afford homes, Steele said.

After each makes a short presentation, the public will have the opportunity of speaking individually with each of them.

“It’s so wonderful to see so many groups all working for the same goal,” Steele said.

Housing issues span a variety of needs, from those living on the streets to those couch surfing to those who must commute a distance from home to work.

The last PIT (Point In Time) count showed 122 homeless, Steele noted, adding, “that is doable. We can address that.

“But that doesn’t address workforce housing, or those living far away from work and having to drive.

“It’s a climate change issue, too. Housing issues impact so many areas,” Steele said.

Many businesses are operating with too few staff members because of a lack of housing.

The event is hoped to be the first in a series addressing housing issues, Steele said, adding that another tent conversation about housing, focused on members of the faith community, is expected on July 28.

Light refreshments and beverages will be provided. Members of the public are encouraged to bring their own chairs.

Before the Under the Tent gathering will be a tool sale at the same location from noon to 3 p.m.

The sale will feature new, used and antique tools, with all proceeds benefiting Community Build housing projects.

Tool donations and consignment sales are also welcome.

For information on tool donations, contact Peter Bonyun at 360-531-2795.

Donated tools may also be dropped off an hour before the sale begins, on site, at 11 a.m. Thursday.

Additional information about Community Build is available at https://community-build.org.

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