This is the fourth week of the Community Emergency Response Fund (CERF) effort. So far, 221 donors have contributed $336,000; $281,000 is already hard at work in the community serving neighbors in need during this time of crisis. These funds have ensured that nonprofits and programs have the resources needed to provide critical support to keep families in houses, keep them fed, and keep them safe.

Thanks to generous community support, OPAL Community Land Trust has served 83 families, providing support in applying for relief and $77,000 in immediate funding so that these folks can stay in their homes. OPAL has expanded services to all islanders, not just OPAL homeowners and tenants. The Shelter Task Force has identified six host sites that will be available for our homeless population to have a safe place to shelter in place. The Orcas Island Food Bank provided local produce, bread, food and meals to 297 families last week, a marked increase in clients. The Orcas Community Resource Center received requests for assistance from 70 new households and reached out to approximately 135 current OCRC households to check-in and assess needs. Demand for OCRC services is increasing as follows:

  • Vulnerable populations requests increased from four last week to 16 this week
  • Therapy referrals increased from an average of two/week to six/week
  • 27 Project Pal applications have been submitted in the past seven days
  • Nine Eastsound Water assistance requests since April 1st
  • 25 Coates Cabinet bags this week; normally would be 8-12
  • $8500 in Island Market and Orcas Food Coop assistance; $5000 has already been distributed

Through this remarkable response, the Orcas community continues to be a place where neighbors care for neighbors, from a distance currently.

Stay well,