The Whidbey Homeless Coalition began to form in 2014 when a group of concerned individuals and organizations, including government, social services, church, business and fraternal organization as well as individuals from all walks of life, came together to recognize and solve the growing problem of homelessness on Whidbey Island.
After many community conversations and much work the Whidbey Homeless Coalition received its non-profit designation as a 501c3 in July 2015. Its mission was:
To make homelessness a brief and rare experience
in our Community
The story of the Coalition has continued from there:
Our first employee was hired in early 2015 and worked out of an attic space upstairs in the South Whidbey Commons.
The House of Hope was opened to families and vulnerable adults as a 90 day transitional shelter in Langley on Memorial Day, 2016. A Board Member served as the House Manager.
A mentorship program was added to the House of Hope in 2016 and a second staff person was hired to develop and coordinate the program as well as serve as House Manager.
In the winter of 2016 – 2017 the Coalition managed the Emergency Warming Shelter for the Langley United Methodist Church, serving homeless when the temperatures dropped to 35 degrees or below.
In March 2017 the Coalition's first Executive Director was hired.
And in April 2017 we opened the doors of a year-round nightly emergency shelter, at the Christian Reform Church in Oak Harbor, adding a Shelter Manager and a Shelter Assistant to our staff.
All of this has been possible due to the generous gifts - in dollars, skills, and materials - from the community as well as grants from Island County.