Port Townsend: Downtown shelter plans shape up

PORT TOWNSEND — Volunteers from churches and the community soon will provide the 3 C’s — casseroles, conversation and compassion — to homeless men as plans for a winter emergency shelter at the American Legion continue to go forward.

“It’s a go-ahead from our side,” said John Ettensberger, the commander of American Legion Post No. 26, in a report to Churches Hosting the Homeless at St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Thursday.

Chaired by Alison Capener of the Community Outreach Association Shelter Team, the meeting drew 21 people, including representatives from eight churches, who want to help create the shelter.

“Our ducks are out there. We just need to get them in a row,” Capener said.

Community members who have stepped forward to help include Frank D’Amore, who is donating bread from Pane D’Amore bakery, and Jeani Pallito, who is donating a steam table, Capener said.

The roster of church congregations that will provide dinner, breakfast and sack lunches on a weekly basis for the 11-week period is filled.

The kitchen in the Legion hall has a stove and a triple sink, Essenberger said, but needs some work before it can be certified by the Jefferson County Public Health Department.

“Food can be prepared by volunteers in a certified kitchen and brought to the Legion hall,” said Karen Reil, a member of the community outreach team.

“We don’t want that to be a stumbling block.”

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