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Kitsap Rescue Mission organizes ‘Sleep Out’ to raise awareness, money to reopen shelter

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BREMERTON, Wash. -- Temperatures dropped into the 30s Friday, and people in Bremerton chose to sleep outside to raise awareness for the need of shelter for people experiencing homelessness.

Dozens of people in Kitsap County are standing in solidarity with those without homes. They're participating in a "Sleep Out" organized by the Kitsap Rescue Mission.

The goal of the event is to build awareness for people who do not have the choice of where they sleep, and raising money for the Kitsap Rescue Mission. They are doing this by sleeping outside Friday night in near freezing temperatures.

"We can get it done. We can bring a whole lot of people indoors inside the rescue mission," said Nate Sylling, Operations Director for the Kitsap Rescue Mission.

Sprinkler code issues forced the mission to close its doors to people back in October. Now, they're working to raise at the very least $150,000.

"When we buy or sell, we pledge 10 percent to help the Kitsap Rescue Mission," said Eric Alfaro.

Alfaro is doing more than just taking part in the Sleep Out. He and his wife are realtors, and they plan to donate portions of their earnings over the next few months to help get people back in the mission.

"There is no reason people should be suffering if someone can help them out," said Alfaro.

The Salvation Army is hosting the Kitsap Rescue Mission's Overnight Shelter. The Salvation Army’s winter shelter is due to open December 1. The Kitsap Rescue Mission hopes to move back to its building by March if they can get the fire sprinklers installed.

For more information on how to help the rescue mission meet its goal click here.

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