Our work involves strongly advocating for the safety and health of our neighbors. However, living in our rural setting, we are often faced with limited resources to support those most vulnerable to stress, poverty, or poor health.
Safe and accessible housing is integral to good health and well-being. A lack of available housing can impede a survivor’s ability to leave an abusive relationship and often leads to homelessness. When looking at the big picture of preventing and responding effectively to domestic violence in the Methow Valley, as well as other big issues such as poverty or substance abuse, our community must make a strategic investment in affordable housing solutions.
A Shrinking Pool of Housing
After last summer’s fires we have seen the number of available rental houses plummet. Among those that are available, our neighbors have reported a $300 a month increase on average. The low-income housing apartments and mobile home parks are commonly full and the cost of purchasing property in the Methow Valley continues to rise. As Maureen Collins, Client Advocate, shares, “we frequently find ourselves in a frustrating position, some days it is heartbreaking to say that we don’t have solutions. Often it takes several weeks or months to find a suitable temporary or permanent place to live.”
“Strategically Investing” to Improve Outcomes
At Room One, we recognize that housing is a top community priority. This summer, we are taking a bird’s eye view of the housing crisis and are starting to envision a community-led solution to address this complex problem. In this effort we are meeting with the Housing Authority, are in discussion with Okanogan Community Action Council, are talking with our local partners and are forming a venue for our neighbors to help us deepen our understanding of this issue. We know our role is to support every one of our neighbors now and to be advocates for change that leads to a healthier community for all.