Funding was used to employ a Project Coordinator for the Underground and was used only for this purpose. We accomplished our primary goals of increasing youth access to the Underground along with increased efficiency in which we are able to offer services. As a result of having the Project Coordinator we have seen measurable success in several areas:
We’ve seen a 26% increase in attendance at the Underground. We had 101 new youth visit us in the last year bringing our total youth exposure to 245. Having a dedicated staff person, we were open more consistently, having to close only 5 times this past year due to sickness or family emergencies. We increased and built upon existing relationships with several key agencies in our community such as Sunnyside United, Sunnyside School District, City of Sunnyside, Sunnyside Police Department and Lower Valley Crisis and Support Services. We increased our parent involvement having several activities where parents of at-risk youth came down to the center or went on outings with us. This needs further development but we are pleased with the progress.
Overall, 2015 was a very productive year for the Underground. We’ve learned a lot and in spite of the inherent challenges of working with at-risk youth we are committed to continuing to serve this community and being the “Light in the Lower Valley”. We are in the process of selling our building with the intention of moving the church and The Underground to a more central location (Downtown Sunnyside is the goal) with better space to reach more youth.
You can learn more about Oasis Community Church on their website.