About Us

Grays Harbor County struggles with high rates of unemployment, poverty, homelessness, substance use disorders, unmet physical and mental healthcare needs, criminalization, and incarceration.

Our Story

In 2013, Rev. Sarah came back home to the Harbor. After being trained in street chaplaincy in Boston, she began to go out and visit with people in the back alleys and underpasses of downtown Aberdeen with a backpack full of sandwiches–in and out of homelessness herself during the time she launched Chaplains on the Harbor. Gathering a small team of church and street volunteers, Chaplains began to host regular community meals in Aberdeen.

Grays Harbor County struggles with high rates of unemployment, poverty, homelessness, substance use disorders, unmet physical and mental healthcare needs, criminalization, and incarceration.

Organization Model

Up until recently, the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia was our fiscal sponsor. When we separately incorporated, we wanted to retain our model of raising up the leadership of people who are most impacted by poverty, homelessness, addiction, and incarceration. We created a worker-run nonprofit, modeling after places like the Sustainable Economies Law Center. What this means in our context is that we have four types of members: 1) staff who work here, 2) community members most impacted, 3) organizations who support us, and 4) workers in any co-ops we develop.

We are governed by a Board of Directors elected by our members. We are also governed by a group of Trustees consisting of all eligible staff members, who govern the day-to-day operations and policies of the organization.

In other words, we do not believe that people most affected by poverty need to have a voice or seat at a table. We believe they should have the actual power and control over organizations, land, and resources, as a collective.

Founders

The Rev. Sarah Monroe
Aaron Scott

Board of Directors

The Rev. Dennis Tierney
Colum Liska
Scott Kovacs
Cristi Chapman
Chris Olive

Founders

The Rev. Sarah Monroe
Aaron Scott

 

Board of Directors

The Rev. Dennis Tierney
Colum Liska
Scott Kovacs
Cristi Chapman
Chris Olive
We feed people six days a week, provide jail and street outreach, offer showers and hygiene supplies, and provide harm reduction support—all while building the leadership of people who have directly experienced homelessness, incarceration, and poverty.

Mission & Vision

Our mission is to build relationships and stand with the poor of Grays Harbor County as together we build leadership and transformation for community empowerment.

Our vision is to help heal a traumatized and exploited community, and to build a movement to end poverty led by people directly impacted by homelessness, incarceration, and addiction.

We feed people six days a week, provide jail and street outreach, offer showers and hygiene supplies, and provide harm reduction support—all while building the leadership of people who have directly experienced homelessness, incarceration, and poverty.

Co-Op Hub

We also aim to become a co-op hub. We run large programs, such as Harbor Roots Farm. When it is time to separately incorporate these parts of our work, they will be incorporated as co-ops, where workers provide the collective direction for the organization. We expect that we will develop into a hub of co-op projects by and for people affected by poverty in Grays Harbor.

Harbor Roots is a 3-acre vegetable farm in Grays Harbor County, WA. We are now reclaiming our right to fresh food, to sustainable use of the land, and to an economy that benefits all of us, not just the few at the top.
Harbor Roots is a 3-acre vegetable farm in Grays Harbor County, WA. We are now reclaiming our right to fresh food, to sustainable use of the land, and to an economy that benefits all of us, not just the few at the top.

Want to Join Us?

We are a member non-profit, and we welcome people experiencing poverty, homelessness, addiction and recovery, or incarceration to become members of our organization.
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Chaplains on the Harbor