Hank designed a portable shower unit for the Host sites! 

WAY TO GO, ORCAS! The GiveOrcas Campaign is rocking it! So far, 651 donors have contributed $198,000 and we are 87% funded as of this morning. The campaign runs until Monday, April 20th (unless we reach 100% before that)! Go to: www.giveorcas.org.

The Shelter Task Force took a breath this week and developed a structure that we hope will allow this project to stabilize as it grows. We identified three key roles: Property Liaison, Resident Case Manager, and Resource Manager.

OPAL is contracting with Jeanne Beck for the Property Liaison position. Jeanne will be the point person to secure and ensure host sites are running smoothly for the property owners.

OCRC is contracting with Cindie McKenna, MHP, to provide the case management. Cindie is a Compass Health crisis responder and she will be managing the intake process for residents, evaluating their mental health and discerning their needs.

OICF will manage Resources and has asked Mike McGregor to undertake that role. Mike is responsible for gathering all that is needed to set up a site and then will be the point person insuring garbage, water, and propane are serviced and delivered and attend to additional services as needed. You may notice he has turned the Volk Family Meeting Room into a supply storage space. (Thank you, Bob and Caroline!)

The team is rounded out with Steve Diepenbrock, who is evaluating and repairing donated shelters and Brianna Rose is cleaning them prior to move in.

We estimate the cost to set up a shelter site to be approximately $2000. Ongoing costs are primarily paying for mental health support and ongoing utilities and services. While this may seem like a lot, if we save one of our residents from having a crisis that requires EMS and police response, we save the costs of those services. It is also far better for Orcas to ensure all islanders have both shelter and place to socially isolate.

The next steps are to figure out next steps. The reality is managing mental illness and addiction has been a public health issue all along. It took this crisis for this community to embrace it. Now we need to figure out how to carry this effort forward. If anyone can, Orcas can.

Lastly, Janet Brownell has been producing a great weekly resource that is distributed with the Chamber Blast and to the Orcas School message system. I will be doing my Facebook Live chat at Noon on April 17 and have the standing Cornerstone Call (open to our Cornerstone Donors) on Mondays at 4 PM.

I hope you are well and finding a little joy every day.