(July News) Mid-way through 2019, Room One staff and board took stock of how we are doing within our key strategy areas. Here are just three highlights that we think tell an important story about our Methow Valley and greater Okanogan community:
Strategy: In the Methow Valley, connect people to resources that make a difference, a trusted advocate, and safe place for support.
In the first 6 months of 2019, neighbors connected with the One-Stop Support Center at Room One 956 times for essential services and referrals.Approximately 25% of our clients are over 60 years old, and just about half have a household income that is either at or well below the federal poverty line. In addition to housing support, access to computers/phone, insurance navigation, food access, referrals to DSHS, and mental health services, much of what our One-Stop staff does is simply provide a space in which people feel welcomed, safe, and heard.
Strategy: Break cycles of poverty across generations
Youth homelessness affects too many young people in the Methow Valley and across the county. To move us toward solutions, Room One continues to lead the Okanogan Youth Homelessness Coalition, a group comprised of stakeholders from school districts, the housing authority, the juvenile justice system, worksource, and young people themselves. This fall we'll roll out new resources to support youth struggling to find housing (and we'll need your help). We will also be sharing findings from a new study on shelter options - stay tuned!
Strategy: Close the gap in legal resources for low-income neighbors
Because Okanogan is one of only a few counties in Washington state without a formal volunteer attorney service and our neighbors often struggle to find affordable legal services, Room One committed to organizing a team of local volunteer attorneys. Working with our group of volunteers and our client advocates, we mapped our local legal support services, identifying which work well and which processes fall short of meeting client needs. As we better understand the gaps in the system, we will strengthen our volunteer legal group and grow this important community resource.