Building Our Future
Okanogan County Community Action Resource, Event and Training Center
In 2022, the OCCAC Board of Directors met along with staff to develop the agency’s five-year strategic plan. The building of the Okanogan County Community Action Resource, Event and Training Center ranks as the top strategy for the agency to meet two overarching goals:
• Provide community access to emergency support to stabilize lives.
• Make tools available to break the cycle of long-term poverty.
The future site of OCCAC will house new training programs, case management offices, event space, food services, and administrative offices. Our target goal for completion is 2027.
At the heart of the project — Community Need
Case Management and Administrative Offices
OCCAC case management services provide case management for qualifying veterans, youth, and families to immediately stabilize their situation with emergency assistance for housing, food, and utilities, while setting goals to work toward sustainability. Housing First is our motto, with this approach we believe that people need necessities like food and housing first before they can gain employment, learn budgeting, or overcome substance abuse.
While OCCAC strives to support 25% of the county’s residents with services, it currently operates out of a 40+ year-old building, originally designed as a grocery store. The space is inadequate for client services, food delivery and distribution, and ADA accessibility. Additionally, a costly list of needed repairs outweighs the return on investment.
Community Training Center
Training programs in Food/Nutrition and Weatherization/Construction will operate out of the new building. The two training programs will utilize the county’s existing rich resources by bringing stakeholders together to build systems that would benefit our county’s economic development and support agriculture, tourism, housing, education, and labor.
Economic prosperity is dependent on a trained and productive workforce, and residents need reliable living-wage jobs. OCCAC training programs will bridge the gap.
Community Event Center
Community event space is limited in Okanogan County. The new building will provide space for meetings, classrooms, a café, catering services, and a large public room adaptable for emergency sheltering during natural disasters.
Friend Raising and Project Support
OCCAC will spend the next two years working to identify major support for the project, including funding for the bulk of the $15 million needed to raise the building and operate new programs. We anticipate most of the funds will come from state and federal grants, plus private foundations.
Community participation in the project is welcome and greatly appreciated.
If you would like an OCCAC presentation on the project at your next meeting, want to contribute your time to the project, or make a financial gift, please contact Rena Shawver, Executive Director, OCCAC at email@example.com.