The City of Poulsbo, in partnership with Empact Northwest, Gateway Fellowship, and Poulsbo Fishline announce the launch of “Poulsbo Cares,” an initiative to address some of the COVID-19 related needs of North Kitsap residents. The Poulsbo Cares initiative has three elements: (1) it helps Poulsbo residents unable to leave their homes to shop because of COVID-19 risk (2) it provides free meals twice a day for anyone struggling financially in North Kitsap, and (3) it provides meals, showers, internet, and laundry for people who are homeless or transient through the generous support of the Kitsap County Department of Human Services. “We’re really concerned about isolated seniors, people without homes, and people who have taken a financial hit from the stay at home order,” says Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson. “Poulsbo Cares is a community effort to help our friends and neighbors.”
Poulsbo Cares is an ongoing collaboration between Poulsbo government and three local nonprofits. The City’s Department of Housing, Health, and Human Services maintains a Poulsbo Cares HELP line (360 517 5037) for anyone looking for home deliveries, help with errands, or meal assistance. Volunteers are dispatched by Housing, Health, and Human Services and Empact Northwest, a nonprofit specializing in disaster relief run by Poulsbo Fire Captain Jake Gillanders. Gateway Fellowship hosts a kitchen turning out two meals a day, 7 days a week, along with a day shelter that provides respite, showers, and laundry service from 11am to 3pm every day. Fishline works with the City, Empact NW, and Gateway to assist individuals in need of nutrition, and donates food to the Gateway kitchen two times a week.
“One of the best things about Poulsbo Cares is its army of volunteers,” says Housing, Health and Human Services Director Kim Hendrickson. “Between the City and Empact Northwest, we have over 70 people who have signed up to volunteer in Poulsbo. There are people making Trader Joe runs, people transporting food from Fishline to Gateway, people chopping vegetables in the Gateway kitchen, and people sewing masks for other volunteers. My biggest challenge, at the moment, is to keep everyone engaged since we may not have enough work for all these wonderful people.”
Poulsbo Cares involves local businesses as well as non-profits and volunteers. A local print shop designed a logo and t-shirts, a local real estate office organized a volunteer team, and another local business provided design services for posters and flyers. A local restaurant brought pizza for 60 today. “We are all pulling together to help each other,” says Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson, “and this is going to be even more important in the coming weeks.”
To request assistance from Poulsbo Cares, call the City of Poulsbo HELP line at 360 517 5037. Calls are answered from 8am to 6pm Monday-Friday. Assistance can also be requested online through Empact Northwest at https://www.empactnorthwest.org/covid.html
Requests to volunteer are welcome but cannot always be accommodated. Sign up forms are available on the Empact Northwest COVID-19 page, https://www.empactnorthwest.org/covid.html.
For more information, contact Kim Hendrickson at the City’s Housing, Health and Human Services Department 360 394 9794 or email@example.com