Port Townsend group opens hearts to the homeless

PORT TOWNSEND — When Stephen Grubal died of exposure in a city park last November, his death woke the community to a problem that had gone unresolved for years.

“I had thought about the needs in this community that were not being met, and had seen homeless people in Port Townsend,” said Raymond Novello. “When Stephen died, I realized I had thought long enough. It was time to do something.”

Novello put up flyers inviting people to a meeting at the Oracle Arts Center. Now, six weeks and two meetings later, the small group of volunteers he recruited are working hard to open a soup kitchen next month in the basement of the American Legion hall where people can get a hot meal. Organized under the name Open Hearts and Helping Hands Coalition, the group is also collecting sleeping bags, coats and other supplies to help people survive the outdoors, and looking at possible locations for temporary shelter.

Grubal, a musician and artist, was a Vietnam veteran who frequently camped out at Kah Tai Lagoon Park. His body was found lying on the park grounds covered with a plastic tarp. It was discovered on a Sunday afternoon in late November after a particularly cold night.

“My first thought was, If he had had a sleeping bag, he wouldn’t have died,” Novello said.

Novello showed a clipping about Grubal’s death to Grant Logg, a carpenter, who went to the American Legion post and ask if they could donate space for a soup kitchen.

Now Logg spends every afternoon in the basement of the hall at 209 Monroe St., painting shelves with donated paint and patching holes in the kitchen, which had fallen into disrepair. Another volunteer, Charles Landau, co-owner of Timbercraft Homes, is recruiting local contractors to enclose part of the basement to make a dining area and help upgrade plumbing and electric fixtures.


The rest of the story appears in the Monday Peninsula Daily News. Click on SUBSCRIBE, above, to get the PDN delivered to your home or office.

More in News

John Brewer.
Former editor and publisher of PDN dies

John Brewer, 76, was instrumental in community

Randy Perry and Judy Reandeau Stipe, volunteer executive director of Sequim Museum & Arts, hold aloft a banner from "The Boys in the Boat" film Perry purchased and is loaning to the museum. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
‘Boys in the Boat’ banner to be loaned to museum

Sequim man purchases item shown in film at auction

Charisse Deschenes, first hired by the city of Sequim in 2014, departed this week after 10 years in various roles, including most recently deputy city manager/community and economic development director. (City of Sequim)
Deputy manager leaves Sequim

Community, economic development position open

Hoko River project seeks salmon recovery and habitat restoration

Salmon coaltion takes lead in collaboration with Makah, Lower Elwha tribes

Clallam Transit’s zero-fare program off to successful start

Ridership is up and problems are down, general manager says

Motor rider airlifted to Seattle hospital after wreck

A Gig Harbor man was airlifted to a Seattle hospital… Continue reading

Traffic light project to begin Monday

Work crews from Titan Earthwork, LLC will begin a… Continue reading

From left to right are Indigo Gould, Hazel Windstorm, Eli Hill, Stuart Dow, Mateu Yearian and Hugh Wentzel.
Port Townsend Knowledge Bowl team wins consecutive state championships

The Knowledge Bowl team from Port Townsend High School has… Continue reading

Bob Edgington of 2 Grade LLC excavating, which donated its resources, pulls dirt from around the base of an orca sculpture at the Dream Playground at Erickson Playfield on Thursday during site preparation to rebuild the Port Angeles play facility, which was partially destroyed by an arson fire on Dec. 20. A community build for the replacement playground is scheduled for May 15-19 with numerous volunteer slots available. Signups are available at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904084DA4AC23A5F85-47934048-dream#/. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Site preparation at Dream Playground

Bob Edgington of 2 Grade LLC excavating, which donated its resources, pulls… Continue reading

Rayonier Inc. is selling more than 115,000 acres in four units across the West Olympic Peninsula last week as the company looks to sell $1 billion worth of assets. (Courtesy photo / Rayonier Inc.)
Rayonier to sell West End timberland

Plans call for debt restructuring; bids due in June