Located on the Olympic Peninsula, in Washington State, the seaport of Port Townsend continues to embrace its Native American roots as well as its early Victorian heritage. As a maritime community, which at one point could reportedly boast a thousand tall ships in its bay, Port Townsend is lesser known as a center for the old kidnapping practice of Shanghaiing.

At the far end of town, in the basement of a community building, the shelter regularly provides a clean bed, a hot meal, and a safe space for the local homeless persons during the cold winter months. Nearly every person served is over the age of 55, and of those residents, most are military veterans.

A shelter staff member poses with our food donations.

Since 2020, we have been fortunate to join with other community and religious organizations to help provide hot meals for dinner during the winter months each year. To date, we have provided nearly 400 dinners to these homeless elders, and have provided pillows and bedding, as well as two nearly-new rollator walkers for the residents who needed one.

Lana’s dog, Benny, guards some of our socks.

In late 2020, we held a sock drive and collected enough money to purchase over 100 pairs of thermal socks for the residents. The non-profit that runs this shelter also works in outreach with homeless persons in the area, so any excess socks went to others in need.

We appreciate the opportunity to serve in this capacity. It has given us the opportunity to get to know some truly amazing people. The residents continue to teach us that they are human, and wish to be treated as such.