Olympic Neighbors raises funds at 4th annual summer bash Aug. 18

Funds go to support adults with disabilities

Posted 8/14/19

Jasmine Kelvy and Kaitlyn Winn aren’t just roommates at Olympic Neighbors’ Hamilton House, but close friends who appreciate the independence that’s afforded by the group home for adults with developmental disabilities.

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Olympic Neighbors raises funds at 4th annual summer bash Aug. 18

Funds go to support adults with disabilities

Posted

Jasmine Kelvy and Kaitlyn Winn aren’t just roommates at Olympic Neighbors’ Hamilton House, but close friends who appreciate the independence that’s afforded by the group home for adults with developmental disabilities.

Kelvy washes dishes at Taps at the Guardhouse at Fort Worden, while Winn assists at the Jefferson Museum of Art and History.

Kelvy has been practicing for her driver’s license, but in the meantime, she and Winn are experienced bus riders, with Kelvy studying cosmetology at West Sound Technical Skills Center in Bremerton in between classes at Port Townsend High School, and Winn taking theater classes in Port Angeles.

Winn has quite the artistic side, not only having costarred in a production of “Moana” at Camp Beausite, but also having taken art classes at the Gatheringplace.

Both women credit the Hamilton House with affording them the opportunities to live apart from their families, hold down jobs, continue their educational paths and even volunteer for community charities such as the local food bank.

“There’s almost too much laughter and fun when you’re with your roommates,” Kelvy said. “Kaitlyn and I are like double trouble.”

“Hamilton House is amazing, especially our roommates,” Winn said.

Claudia Coppola, program coordinator for Olympic Neighbors, cited a Kitsap Health Department statistic that more than 500 adults with developmental disabilities live on the Olympic Peninsula.

“The Hamilton House is the only adult family home serving Jefferson County,” Coppola said. “The only other one on the Peninsula is in Forks.”

Coppola noted that aging parents are a factor in all of these families, but a pressing concern that’s unique to Washington is its relative lack of funding for developmental disabilities.

“We already have enough people on our waitlist to start another house,” Coppola said. “The only thing stopping us is that lack of funding. Washington has only recently moved from 41st to 39th state in the nation for developmental disability funds.”

Not only do homes like the Hamilton House provide what Coppola sees as quality of life, but the Hamilton House only costs $150 per person to run daily, whereas a state institution providing the same food and care services would run to about $700 a day.

“Even with the state kicking in 66% of that funding, it’s why we need fundraising events like the annual summer bash,” Coppola said.

Olympic Neighbors’ fourth annual summer bash runs from 2-8 p.m. at the Pourhouse in Port Townsend, with a silent auction, a ping pong tournament with a trophy, food, dancing and raffle prizes, with no entrance fee, but a minimum age of 21 to attend.

The local bands MerryMakers, Lowire, the Port Townsend Village Drummers and the Unexpected Brass Band are returning to play sets during the event, while food from Barbarian Fine Cuisine and PhoFilling, along with drinks, will be available for purchase.

Olympic Neighbors’ goal is to raise $25,000 this year, with 100% of the proceeds going to support programs such as community housing, health courses and inclusion for adults with developmental disabilities.

For more information, a complete list of events and auction items, or to donate, contact Coppola by phone at 706-296-4091 or online at olympicneighbors.org/summerbash.

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