Family Resources in Kitsap County
Picking up from one place and moving to another is always a hassle, especially when kids and pets are involved. Knowing whom to call or where to find information can help make the transition easier.
American Red Cross
The Red Cross helps members of the military, veterans and their families prepare for, cope with, and respond to, the challenges of military service.
The American Red Cross offers confidential services to all members of the military, veterans, and their families by connecting them with local, state and national resources through the network of chapters in communities across the United States and offices on military installations worldwide.
Local Red Cross offices develop and maintain relationships with key community partners. Military families rely on the Red Cross to help them identify their needs and connect them to the most appropriate Red Cross and community resources. This essential Red Cross service includes responding to emergency needs for food, clothing, and shelter, referrals to counseling services (e.g., financial, legal, mental health), respite care for caregivers, and other resources that meet the unique needs of local military members, veterans and their families.
The American Red Cross Emergency Communications Center is available to help 24/7. Call 877-272-7337 or submit an online request at https://saf.redcross.org/css.
Armed Services YMCA
The ASYMCA is made up of 13 branches and about 20 affiliate locations at local Ys and on some DOD facilities across the U.S.
It makes military life easier by providing programs and services to the young men and women of all five armed services: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.
ASYMCA programs, services and events are designed to help the family come together, stay together and have the ability to adjust, bounce back and thrive wherever the services send them — with a particular focus on junior-enlisted men and women, the individuals on the front lines of defending our nation. Programs are offered at low cost and require no dues or membership fees.
Signature programs include Angels of the Battlefield Awards Gala, Art and Essay Contest, Military Family Month, Operation Hero, Operation Holiday Joy, Operation Kid Comfort, Operation Outdoors, Operation Ride Home, Parent and Me, Teddy’s Child Watch and YMCA/DOD Military Outreach Initiative.
Find ASYMCA locations by visiting www.asymca.org/locations.
Child Care Aware
Improving access to affordable, quality child care is one of Child Care Aware of America’s top goals. Search the site’s “State by State Resources for Families” to connect with national organizations and associations that provide information for parents regarding child development, parenting, and child care concerns and questions.
The site has information on the different types of child care and how to choose the right child care for your family. Financial resources include a child care budgeting calculator and information on federal and state fee assistance. There’s also a special section for military and DOD families with links to military child care cost assistance. To speak with a specialist about military and DOD child care programs, call 800-424-2246, option 6.
Kitsap County Human Services
507 Austin Ave.
Port Orchard, WA 98366
Kitsap County’s Human Services Division website provides information on various veterans programs, family programs and services for the elderly, including caregiver support, food stamps, clinical services, education and medical care.
Military OneSource is your central hub and go-to-place for the military community. Get to know your benefits and prepare for the big stuff — deployments, reintegration, moves, parenthood, retirement and more. No matter where military life takes you, with Military OneSource you’ll always be in the loop.
Operation Homefront assists military families during difficult financial times by providing food assistance, auto and home repair, vision care, travel and transportation, moving assistance, essential home items, and rent-free transitional housing for wounded veterans and their families.
Helping military families gain long-term stability is a specific concern for Operation Homefront. Homes on the Homefront awards mortgage-free homes, impacting veteran families for generations to come. The caregivers for wounded warriors also need help, and that is why Hearts of Valor formed.
Operation Homefront’s annual gala recognizes amazing military kids. The organization also hosts Homefront Celebrations, Star-Spangled Baby Showers, Back-to-School Brigades and Holiday Meals for Military events each year to show appreciation to military spouses.
Visit Operation Homefront online for more information.
United Service Organization
Since 1941, the USO has kept our military men and women connected to their families, home and country no matter where they are or under what conditions they serve. Programs for military families include Couples Seminars: Stronger Families, Comfort Crew for Military Kids, Operation That’s My Dress, United Through Reading, Baby Showers: USO and What to Expect Present Special Delivery and The Sesame Street/USO Experience.
The USO also provides transition services to support Americans’ return to civilian life after completing their military service. For more information, go to www.uso.org/programs/uso-pathfinder. Visit the USO’s website to find a location near you.
Washington State Department of Social and Health Services
953 Village Way, Suite 100
Monroe, WA 98272
DSHS Children’s Administration is the public child welfare agency in the state of Washington. The staff works with the kids and families to identify their needs and develop a plan for services that support families and assure the safety and well-being of children. The department’s programs include an abuse hotline, services for adoption, child care, foster care, domestic violence, homelessness, mental health, substance abuse and more.
Moves are stressful for everyone — including the family pet. Pets can sense stress and a change in routine can be difficult for them. If possible, keep your pets in a quiet, secure area while movers pack up or unload your belongings. Movers will have your door open while they move boxes and furniture, and a pet may slip out the door undetected. Make sure you keep a collar with an ID tag on your pet at all times. Ensure the tag has your current phone number on it. It is also a good idea to microchip your pets. Remember to keep the chip’s contact information up-to-date. If your pet escapes during any part of your move, you want the animal shelter that scans the chip to be able to communicate with you.
Depending on where you live, your pet may face new outside dangers as human activity increasingly encroaches on wildlife habitat. Wildlife that your pet may encounter include beavers, coyotes, gophers, raccoons, rodents, skunks, even deer, bears and moose. The best way to avoid wildlife around your home is to limit any behavior that might attract it. Do not leave animal kibble unattended outdoors; raccoons, coyotes and even squirrels that eat pet and people food can lose their fear of humans and may become aggressive. Keep trash in containers with lids that are animal-resistant. In addition to larger animals, smaller pests such as fleas, ticks and spiders can be extremely dangerous as they carry disease to pets and humans. Keep your dog on a short leash in wooded areas, and check for ticks and bites on your animal when you get home. If you find a tick, use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp it as close to the skin as possible and pull it straight out, gently; if the mouth breaks off and remains in the skin, use the tweezers to remove it as well. After removing the tick, use antiseptic on the bite site and wash your hands thoroughly.
Visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/nuisance for a full list of wildlife dangers and how to avoid them, and the Washington State Department of Health’s web page to learn how to avoid pests, such as ticks and spiders, at www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/Pests.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Puget Sound Region
16018 Mill Creek Blvd.
Mill Creek, WA 98012
The WDFW manages and ensures the long-term well-being of fish and wildlife, particularly since humans continue to encroach on wildlife habitats. The website offers tips about living with many of the species across the state. For information about wildlife in the Puget Sound region specifically, visit http://wdfw.wa.gov/about/regions/region4.
Kitsap Humane Society
9167 Dickey Road NW
Silverdale, WA 98383
Animal control in Kitsap County is a division of the Kitsap Humane Society, an independent nonprofit committed to providing positive life-changing solutions to people and animals in need. The humane society shelters and rehabilitates companion animals in need, provides adoption and education services, and offers licensing, low-cost spay/neuter and microchip services. For more information on the county’s animal shelter and pet adoption, visit the Kitsap Humane Society’s website.
Pets for Patriots
Pets for Patriots’ vision is to end animal homelessness in the United States while giving our military veterans and their families the greatest “thank you” of all: the extraordinary love of a companion pet. It makes this happen through its nationwide shelter and veterinary networks, military and veteran organizations, and a public that values the lives of both the vulnerable and heroic among us.
To learn more about adopting a pet, visit https://petsforpatriots.org/adopt-a-pet/how-it-works.
Veterinary services in Kitsap County are plentiful; see the Military Buyer’s Guide to connect with local providers. Another source for connecting with a veterinarian is the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association website https://wsvma.org.