Jefferson: Homeless shelter finds a home in PT

PORT TOWNSEND — Homeless men looking for a warm place to spend a cold night will have an easier search this winter if plans for a location work out.

“It’s coming together and looks like it’s really going to happen,” said Alison Capener.

Capener is a member of COAST — Community Outreach Association Shelter Team —which worked last winter to provide shelter for homeless men in local churches.

This year, American Legion Post No. 26 is offering to set up the emergency shelter in its basement, which simplifies matters for both volunteers and guests.

“It’s a good location and an easy mix — the men feel comfortable there,” Capener said.

It also solves the problem of the shelter moving from church to church each week, she said.

Last February, a coalition of six churches, called Churches Hosting the Homeless, offered shelter, with St. Mary’s, First Baptist and Quimper Unitarian alternating as hosts.

Homeless men were transported by van to the location, Capener said, where volunteers prepared and served a hot supper and prepared breakfast.

Each man also received a sack lunch, a knitted hat and scarves and a bag with a toothbrush, comb and other toiletries.

“This effort was a pilot project, one small step in ending homelessness,” Capener said.

If the new location works out, transportation will no longer be needed, as the Legion Hall, downtown on the corner of Water and Monroe, is easy to get to by bus.

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