Human Services

Meetings Fridays 2pm to 3:30pm



COVID presents unique challenges to the delivery of human services for our community.  The COVID crisis will also significantly decrease the funding available for these essential services.  Members of Jefferson County’s network of human service agencies have not yet coordinated resources to specifically address the challenges presented by COVID and its secondary impacts.  The housing crisis that predated COVID is only growing worse as housing stock dwindles, while the need for supportive and affordable housing increases.  Best practice Public Health guidelines for keeping community members safe require additional tools to implement and manage new safety protocols, intensifying gaps in service.  Many of Jefferson County’s vulnerable residents have not yet been identified by existing service providers.

But this crisis may represent an opportunity for local agencies to emerge more resilient, agile and interconnected.  The purpose of this Work Group is to address the following community needs in light of this new landscape:

  1. Identify priorities for delivery of services;
  2. Consolidate services to mitigate budget cuts;
  3. Provide emergency and transitional housing for our community’s most vulnerable;
  4. Guarantee that our residents have access to reliable internet, phone or mail;
  5. Explore how existing social safety net structures can become more adaptable;
  6. Create new partnerships with the goal of maximizing limited funding; and,
  7. Take real solutions to local officials to adopt as policy.

Projects Proposed for CARES Act Funding

The Human Services Working Group has a number of subcommittees and proposals from each were included in their final projects submittal. See the link below for the full list.

Full list of Proposed Projects

Group Members

Ariel SpeserPort Townsend City Councilmember and ICC Liaison to Human Services Group
Bob WheelerOlympic Neighbors Board President and Co-Lead for Human Services Group
John NowakCo-Director Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) Co-Lead for Human Services Group
Kathleen KlerFormer Jefferson County Commissioner District 3 and Jefferson Community Foundation (JCF) COVID Relief Grant Team Member
Catharine RobinsonFormer Port Townsend City Councilmember and Jumping Mouse Therapist
Louise HuntingfordDepartment of Social and Health Services (DSHS), Economic Services Administration, Community Services Division, Port Townsend
Claire RoneyJefferson Clallam County Long-Term Care Ombuds Advisory Council and local Psychologist
Cherish CronmillerOlympic Community Action Programs (OlyCap) Executive Director
Anna McEneryJefferson County Public Health Behavioral Health Committee, Mental Health Field Response Team, and Developmental Disabilities Program Staff Liaison
Jaci HoyleOlympic Area on Aging (OAAA) Direct Services Director
Jim NovelliDiscovery Behavioral Health Executive Director
Celeste SchoenthalerOlympic Community of Health Executive Director
Carol McCrearyProgram Manager, Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human (PHLUSH)
Judson HaynesCity of Port Townsend Police Navigator
Nat JacobJefferson County Public Defender
Tammy TarsaJefferson Healthcare Home, Health, and Hospice
Gabbie CaudillBelieve In Recovery
Kimber Rotchford, MDJC Mash Clinic
Trish BeathardBrinnon School District Superintendent
Brian RichardsonRecovery Café

Liaison and Chairs

Ariel Speser
City of Port Townsend

John Nowak
Co-Executive Director CHIP

Bob Wheeler
Olympic Neighbors