Services and subsidized housing for young adults coming through Bremerton HA project

Date Published: 
February 5th, 2024

From the Kitsap Sun:

A Warren Avenue property near downtown Bremerton, across from Kitsap Community Resources' home and once the site of three abandoned houses and a small commercial building, is now the site of an apartment building soon to become a Bremerton Housing Authority-owned housing option for disadvantaged young people.

The housing service provider will connect 18- to 24 year-olds who may be exiting foster care, homelessness or other precarious positions with housing that they may not be considered for otherwise, and pair that provision with on-site services. The project, called Evergreen Bright Start, will establish 24 of the 30 units in the 811 Warren Avenue apartment for subsidized housing and the other 6 for service provider offices. 

The project saw its green light after the BHA received $6.5 million in grants from the Washington State Department of Commerce last week. Coupled with $4 million in grants from the City of Bremerton and Kitsap County and $200,000 from their own pot, the BHA secured funding to acquire the housing complex.


The BHA’s campaign for a youth housing solution found its roots in a 2022 program, Foster Youth to Independence (FYI), that connected young adults aging out of foster care with rental assistance vouchers. 

FYI housed 16 young adults in Bremerton and four in other jurisdictions, but U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds cover only the voucher, excluding provision for housing navigation and case management. While Olive Crest, a BHA partner in the Evergreen Bright Start project, provided these services with supplemental funding from the County, certain disparities in housing for young adults came to light, said BHA executive director Jill Stanton. 

“One of the challenges that we ran into was actually getting a landlord to accept the voucher for a person who had little to no rental history or credit history,” Stanton said. “This population is especially vulnerable, often falling prey to drug dealers and sexual exploitation, starting their journey into adulthood with fear and hopelessness.”

At a formative time in their lives that could be marked by college, exploration, early career and job preparation, young adults aging out of foster care and those facing other housing, mental health and substance abuse challenges can find themselves in dangerous situations. 

“A lot of them do end up in homeless situations, unhoused or unsafe situations… so that's where we're trying to intervene so that that doesn't happen,” Stanton said. “It's really hard to provide services that really make a difference when someone doesn't have a safe place to live.

Harkening back to the aspirations of young adulthood, Stanton envisions young tenants at Evergreen Bright Start not only connecting with services, but also steeping themselves in a community of similarly aged-peers, to “have a space where they can experience a normal and supportive and loving environment, and camaraderie and friendship.”

Read the Kitsap Sun's article "Services and subsidized housing for young adults coming through Bremerton project."

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