Coping with homelessness on Bainbridge and in Kitsap County

Community Cafe Podcast :

What is the level of homelessness on Bainbridge and in Kitsap County? What’s driving the problem, what kind of assistance is available, how effective is it, and what can you do to help? Listen here to learn more… In this 45 minute podcast, BCB host Christina Hulet talks with Kirsten Jewell, Kitsap County’s Housing and Homelessness Program Division Coordinator, and Maria Metzler, Executive Director of Helpline House, about local statistics, challenges, services and misconceptions around homelessness.

According to data from Kitsap County’s Department of Human Services and Housing Solutions Center, 530 people were without a home in Kitsap County during the 2018 “point-in-time” count. In 2017, approximately 3,200 households in Kitsap needed housing assistance and 1,200 households were classified as homeless.

Here on Bainbridge, 116 households needed housing assistance and 25 households were classified as homeless in 2017. Forty of these households included children, impacting a total of 68 kids. The Bainbridge Island School District also counted 18 homeless children in the 2016-2017 school year.

One of the organizations making a difference is Helpline House, a local nonprofit that served 1 in 10, or approximately 2,500, Bainbridge residents in 2017. It provides a range of social services including a food bank, mental health counseling, housing assistance, medical equipment, and case management, among others.

You can support and learn more about Helpline House at Come join their 50th Celebration on Saturday September 29th from 11am to 4pm. This is a free community event, including live music, kid activities, food trucks and more.

You can learn more about Kitsap County’s housing and homelessness programs and county-level data on its website. The County is also hosting a community forum on Bainbridge about tiny houses, as one tool to address homelessness and housing instability.

This event will be on Thursday, September 27th from 6:30-8:30pm at Bainbridge’s Rolling Bay Presbyterian Church. Credits: BCB host, Christina Hulet; audio editor and publisher, Diane Walker; social media: Jen St. Louis. 1 in 150 people experienced homelessness in Kitsap County

Community Podcast with Maria Metzler, Helpline House Executive Director and Kirsten Jewels, Kitsap Housing & Homeless Program Division Coordinator

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Helpline House Food Bank and Social Services of Bainbridge Island

Helpline House is a community non-profit agency providing an umbrella of social services striving to help our Bainbridge Island neighbors to meet essential needs.  Basic services are provided cost-free, regardless of income.  Needs are defined broadly and not always financial.  Any community member in crisis or in need of consultation is welcome. 

Need after hours or emergency services?

Helpline House has a policy of non-discrimination regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual preference, age, disability or veteran’s status, and is in compliance with all requirements of law and regulations with respect to employment, volunteer participation or service delivery. 


282 Knechtel Way NE

Bainbridge Island, WA 98110



Mon - Fri, except Weds

9 - 11 AM

Food Bank Curbside Pickup

Mon - Fri, except Weds

12 PM - 4 PM

Social Work

Remote Services Only Via Phone
Weekdays 9 AM - 5 PM


(206) 842.7621



(206) 842-9867