Bridging The Gap

The economics of living on Orcas are complex. This week, the Orcas Community Resource Center (OCRC) distributed their annual report in which they cite that 13% of island households are living below the poverty level and up to 40% of island households do not earn enough to make ends meet. These include families, Seniors, Veterans and more. Many of these neighbors work, some holding several jobs, at the schools, stores, and critical services. The community relies on this sector to keep things running.

Wages simply have not kept up with the rising cost of living.

We rely on the nonprofit sector to provide help and bridge the gap. Organizations like OCRC, OPAL, the Food Bank and Senior Center make it possible for folks to stay in the community.

OCRC’s Community Report outlines the myriad of programs that they help neighbors navigate. They connect folks to housing and food assistance, medical, dental and mental health supports, transportation and pretty much everything else that is needed to get by month to month. They are also piloting a Financial Literacy program to teach folks how to manage what resources they do have. I am deeply grateful for their efforts, as are so many.

We had an excellent turnout for our Recovery Sector meeting at OICF this week, with representation from AA, NA, Al-anon, Recovery in Community, Recovery Rides, Compass Health and the Sheriff’s office. Hearing about their work and the support they provide was heartening. It does sound like there is an ongoing need for temporary shelter for those seeking or returning from treatment. Housing seems to always be part of the challenge.

If you are looking for a little delight, head on over to the Orcas Center where the A*OK art opening is tonight from 5-7 and the Orcas Choral Society is performing this weekend on Sat at 7 and Sunday at 2. Tickets can be purchased here.
I hope you have a lovely weekend.