In our opinion: Homeless crisis is everyone's problem

With any luck, the obscenely high number of homeless Kitsap residents won’t climb any higher before people not only realize the crisis we are in, but that we are in it together.

As was reported this week, there are about 500 people — half of them children — on Kitsap Community Resources’ waiting list for emergency housing.

These facts take on special significance as residents in an East Bremerton neighborhood object to the location of a proposed homeless shelter near their homes.

Many of the objections are valid, although they don’t necessarily mean the shelter shouldn’t be built.

Wheaton Way has rows of unoccupied buildings. The City of Bremerton and Kitsap County have property not being used. The burden is not being shared equally.

But as an organizer noted, other property owners aren’t coming forward and volunteering. People are desperate, they need places to stay, especially as the mercury drops and the monsoon season arrives.

It would be unfair to judge these neighbors harshly for their reluctance, especially when most of us haven’t yet been asked to accommodate others less fortunate in this way.

But it should be all our hope that we become more understanding of those in a pinch before we, or someone we love, are put in a desperate situation.

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