We believe that everyone needs
a safe place to call home.
The Okefenokee Alliance for the Homeless (OATH) is a not for profit organization that was created to fill the service gap that exists for homeless families in Ware, Pierce and Brantley Counties. OATH evolved from the work of a grass roots organization established by the Ware Children's Initiative in January 2017.
The work included partners from churches, mainstream organizations, Pierce and Brantley County Family Connections and community volunteers in all three counties who were committed to addressing the issue of homelessness and the lack of safe, secure and affordable housing in our region.
Our mission is to meet the needs of the homeless and precariously housed through a continuum of care that leads to self sufficiency. Our Day Center provides respite and resources to those in need.
Our vision is that everyone in the Okefenokee region has a safe place to call home.
The OATH Board is comprised of diverse volunteer community leaders and includes members who are homeless or have been previously homeless. The Board will provide oversight and ensure that OATH meets the moral, ethical and financial guidelines defined by the IRS for charitable organizations. The Board Members are committed to accountability and transparency.
OATH Board Advisors include Family Connection coordinators in Brantley, Pierce and Ware County whose work is driven by county specific statistical data and collaborative partnership input. In addition leaders in human services across the region provide expertise and input.
We have learned that homelessness is the result of a multitude of issues culminating over a period of time. Homelessness does not happen instantaneously, but instead evolves out of precipitating issues. There is no single cause of homelessness and there is no single, simple solution. We serve single women with children, single men with children, families and unaccompanied youth who lack safe and secure housing.
How OATH Helps
The OATH Navigator works to build relationships with the homeless or those precariously housed; provides advocacy and assists with connections to resources, benefits and housing.
The Navigator’s primary goal is to focus on increasing a client’s housing stability and self-sufficiency. Services include assessment; development of an individualized housing stability plan; acting as a liaison to secure and maintain housing; promotion of employment and training opportunities; a connection to mainstream resources and services; coordination with other providers including realtors; monitoring of progress; and advocating on behalf of the client.
We strive to ensure that families exit homelessness permanently.
A Hidden Issue in Rural Communities
Homelessness in the Okefenokee Region is a hidden crisis. We don’t see people with tents under highway overpasses or sleeping in the streets. Instead we have found the homeless deep in our woods, living in cars, campers and in small tent communities.
We also know that there are many more individuals and families in our region who are living in substandard housing, are doubled up or couch surfing. These households are at risk of homelessness. The same structural factors that contribute to urban homelessness—lack of affordable housing and inadequate income—also lead to homelessness in rural regions just like ours.
Stories from inside OATH
April tells us her story of overcoming homelessness
Debi gives us a look inside our local homeless and why we need OATH
Niki talks about food insecurities
Ways to Help
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