Welcome to the first Oasis Newsletter of 2022! Starting this year, we’re being more intentional about sharing what’s happening at Oasis, so we’ll be releasing a quarterly newsletter to share all the good work that’s going on!
2022 has been all about establishing new connections in the community and sharing the word about the good work Oasis does for youth and families in our community. We’d like to thank Skagit Soroptimists and the Skagit League of Women Voters for hosting us on separate occasions to speak about Oasis; we thoroughly enjoyed presenting to these groups! If you or your organization would like a presentation on Oasis and its services, please send an email to Ariell at [email protected].
Thank you to all who donated to Oasis during our Impact Skagit campaign. Together, our community raised $18,417 to support the vital services Oasis provides! As we work to eventually get to 24/7 services for area youth, we are slowly building up our inventory. Consider looking at our Amazon Wishlist to see what we need to ensure the youth who visit Oasis have the essentials. Or, consider donating at www.skagitymca.org/give. Your support is greatly appreciated!
Ariell Wright, Oasis Director
Announcing the Anchor Community Initiative
Skagit County is one of six new “Anchor Communities” announced by A Way Home Washington (AWHWA). This more than doubles the number of communities working intensively to prevent and end youth and young adult homelessness in Washington, which is estimated to be 13,000 – 15,000 young people statewide. The Anchor Community Initiative is the flagship program of AWHWA, a statewide movement to prevent and end homelessness for unaccompanied youth and young adults. The program is undertaken in partnership with the Office of Homeless Youth.
“Almost two hundred high school students across Skagit County were identified as experiencing homelessness last academic year by the school system,” says Kat Lohman, Director of Advancement for the Skagit Valley Family YMCA, “and at least 227 young adults experiencing homelessness in our community sought housing services in 2021. Skagit County has made it clear that we care about solving youth homelessness—now it’s time to make meaningful progress to address it.”
The Skagit Valley Family YMCA applied simultaneously with Northwest Youth Services’ application for Whatcom County. The two nonprofits will work together in coordinating each community’s initiatives to better serve youth across both counties. “We are thrilled at the momentum this initiative gives our region to ensure that all young people in Skagit and Whatcom counties have a safe, stable place to call home,” Lohman says.
A Way Home Washington, the organization facilitating the Anchor Community Initiative (ACI), is currently hiring for the Skagit County ACI Coordinator. This full-time position will work closely with the Skagit Y and our Oasis programs.
Stories from Oasis
As COVID-19 cases decline, Oasis is steadily increasing activities and programming for youth in our area! Youth at Oasis have been participating in an Anger Management group, led by a dedicated staff member and the Oasis Clinical Team. Youth have been enjoying the challenge of developing new coping skills to manage anger. As Clinical Supervisor Amy Beek shares, “just below anger is fear.”
Welcoming our new Oasis Coordinator, Dani!
Oasis recently hired Dani Hodge as its Oasis Coordinator! Dani will run the day-to-day operations of the shelter (ex. meal planning, scheduling, etc.), coordinate volunteers and donations, and help create programming activities for the Oasis Daylight Center. “I am very excited to help Oasis flourish and grow!” Dani shares.
Dani can be reached at [email protected].
Street Outreach is back!
We’re excited that our Street Outreach program is back up and running at Oasis. The Oasis Connect Team works throughout Skagit County to identify and engage youth and young adults ages 12-24 who are experiencing housing instability, supporting them in finding permanent housing through effective case management and financial assistance. Staff meet youth where they are at, both literally and metaphorically, and can provide immediate help in the form of basic needs, connection to resources, or more intensive advocacy.
Please contact Outreach Coordinator Maximo Moreno if you have questions. He can be reached at [email protected].
Puget Sound Energy Foundation Donates $25,000
We’re excited to announce that Oasis has received $25,000 in grant funding from the Puget Sound Energy Foundation. These unrestricted funds are intended to support nonprofit organizations leading the way in the prevention and elimination of homelessness in PSE’s 10-county service area. Oasis is one of four nonprofits receiving funding in Skagit County, joining Skagit Valley Hospitality House/Friendship House, the Anacortes Family Center, and Northwest Youth Services.
Oasis has also received financial commitments for 2022 from Northwest Children’s Foundation, MDU Resources, and the Medina Foundation. The Mount Vernon Haggen location also selected Oasis as their beneficiary for Haggen Foundation’s Building Brighter Futures Together campaign. Thank you to all of our donors and foundation sponsors for your incredible support!