Letters to the Editor

Hyla film benefit showing at Lynwood | Letters | April 17

In late January, a group of Hyla students participated in Operation Connect, an event to count the homeless in Kitsap County, connect them with resources and provide essential supplies. We were there to hand out jackets and other warm winter clothing that students at Blakely and Hyla had collected, as well as snack and hygiene kits that we put together.

When people arrived, they registered at the front desk and then walked around to get supplies and find out about services offered to them. At the event there were even medical stations so that people there could get check-ups and flu shots. We can’t imagine how busy those doctors must have been, because there were a lot of kids there.

So many of the people in attendance were in need that just before our last group of students went to volunteer they had to stop by Helpline House to get extra clothing and hygiene supplies.

One of the exciting things about Operation Connect was how generous and open-minded everyone was. Not one person left without getting some kind of helpful attention from the many local organizations who were there, and people only took what they needed. For us, it was an amazing experience.

Those who are homeless have been through so much, and many shared their experiences with us. Some had just become homeless, while others knew they were about to become homeless. It was heartbreaking to see how they were struggling but still managed to smile. And although Operation Connect counted 822 homeless individuals who are living in Kitsap County, we know that there are more people out there.

Help out by attending the Hyla for Housing Film Benefit on Sunday, April 19, at noon at the Lynwood Theatre. We are showing “Where God Left His Shoes,” a film about a family that becomes homeless. Proceeds will go the Housing Resources Board to provide emergency rental assistance to several local families at risk of losing their homes. Tickets are $7.

Hyla Middle School students:

Emma Covert, Connor Rice and Anna Cinamon

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