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City of Bremerton Cannot Extend Kitsap Rescue Mission’s Temporary Occupancy Permit for Shelter Use
'I cannot in good conscience extend temporary occupancy for a shelter that is unsafe.'
Mayor Wheeler sent the following email today to Kitsap Rescue Mission denying an extension of the temporary occupancy permit for continued operation of its shelter:
It is with deep disappointment that I have made a determination to not continue Kitsap Rescue Mission’s Temporary Occupancy Permit.
We reviewed your submission on October 7, 2019, which the City interpreted as a request for an extension of KRM’s Temporary Occupancy Permit for continued shelter operations in your building. After careful review, attached is the letter denying your request for an extension of the temporary occupancy permit and explaining that KRM’s use of the shelter must be discontinued by the end of October 13, 2019.
The Kitsap Rescue Mission’s daytime office operations are not affected and may continue under your current business occupancy permit, which does not allow sleeping on the premises.
In previous conversations with KRM, City staff discussed their serious concerns of operating a shelter in conditions without fire suppression where men, women and children sleep. In the response to these discussions, KRM has not made progress on construction or clearly demonstrated adequate funding to assure installation of a sprinkler system in the building. As such, I cannot in good conscience extend temporary occupancy for a shelter that is unsafe and cannot protect our vulnerable homeless population in the event of a fire.
I am deeply disheartened that the Kitsap Rescue Mission was not able move forward with construction and installation of a sprinkler system despite the permitting of an expansive remodeling and construction project of your building several years ago. I remain hopeful that KRM will install critical fire suppression sometime in the future, which will help guests in need of shelter find comfort and a safe place to sleep.
At this time, I am working closely with the Salvation Army in Bremerton to establish an emergency shelter when KRM’s temporary occupancy permit expires on October 13, 2019."
Greg Wheeler, Mayor
Letter: Expiration of Kitsap Rescue Mission's Temporary Occupancy for the Shelter at 810 6th St.