We are based in Grays Harbor County: a rural, deindustrialized, former logging community located on the coast of Washington State. A truly beautiful place with countless good people, our community is also no stranger to hardship.
Once the timber export capital of the world, Grays Harbor County now struggles with high rates of unemployment, poverty, homelessness, substance use disorders, unmet physical and mental healthcare needs, criminalization, and incarceration. The average life expectancy for Harbor residents is five years younger than the state average. In Aberdeen, the county’s largest city, 1 out of 16 people are homeless. In 2015, Grays Harbor incarcerated children for nonviolent/non-criminal offenses (i.e. truancy) at a higher rate than any other county in the nation. Though timber jobs are now nearly nonexistent, large timber corporations still own the majority of land in our county.
In the midst of so much difficulty we encounter incredible hope, insight, courage, skill, and goodness among the people hardest hit by these realities. We not only have faith that this community can be transformed, we are already seeing it happen—through the leadership of people who have, themselves, experienced poverty, homelessness, incarceration, and addiction. Healing starts at home, healing starts with us.