Chaplains on the Harbor has been able to keep our doors open, run our programs, and retain one full-time priest and one-half time organizer through direct financial support from The Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, several grants through the national church, donations from individuals and congregations around the nation, and our amazing volunteers.
In the past two years our numbers have grown rapidly. Our base community is not only bigger, but also much younger and more heavily impacted by the criminal justice system than when we first began. We have stretched ourselves well beyond our existing staff capacity in an effort to keep up with growing momentum. We have identified the following key areas of focus for our next stage of fundraising:
- Sustainability: While grants and diocesan support have allowed us to launch this ministry, we need to build a donor base that will sustain us and allow us to grow for the long-term. We are looking into various models for this.
- Expanded staff capacity: Our staff don’t sleep enough. We need more help! We are particularly in need of funding positions to run our growing programs, with an emphasis on young adults and leadership development, and hope to hire directly from the ranks of our local folks.
- Social enterprise/cooperative employment: Grays Harbor County is infamous for its lack of decent, living-wage employment. Millennials with criminal records are particularly hard-hit by this reality: in fact, most criminal records exist specifically because of lack of income. We need to start creating decent jobs. In the words of Pope Francis, “tierra, techo, y trabajo” (land, a roof, and work) are at the heart of this focus.
- Property/land acquisition: We have a building in Westport but find ourselves badly in need of our own indoor space in the Aberdeen/Hoquiam area. We have grown beyond the stage of being able to run all our programs in borrowed space. Ideally, we seek to acquire a property that allows us to host/grow our existing programs while also expanding into social enterprise.
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