Helping Islanders in need

  • Fri May 1st, 2020 5:08pm
  • News

Submitted by San Juan County

Neighbors caring for neighbors is a fundamental part of life in the islands. This has become even more true during the COVID-19 pandemic where community support, especially of our most vulnerable residents, is a core part of the local response.

It has been encouraging to see so many people that are working hard, volunteering, contributing money or resources and generally stepping up their commitment to serve their community. The health and economic impacts of COVID-19 have touched all of us, but some islanders and families have had bigger challenges and needs than others.

One priority has been helping vulnerable individuals and families needing help with home delivery of food, medicine and needed household goods. San Juan County, nonprofit agencies and volunteers throughout our islands are successfully delivering needed items to those needing support. If you, or someone you know, needs help with home deliveries please be aware of this service.

Detailed contact information about how to access help from the local resource centers or county senior services are below. San Juan County and vital nonprofit partners are working hard to ensure that no one is left behind in the midst of this health emergency.

Jami Mitchell, San Juan County Senior Services Specialist has been tasked with coordinating assistance to the islands’ vulnerable population. She said, “Our communities, staff and volunteers are doing an amazing job, adjusting rapidly to dramatic changes of how we serve our vulnerable communities.”

Jami pointed out that County Senior Services as part of their Meals on Wheels collaboration are delivering more than 400 meals a week to island seniors, and an additional 231 San Juan County households have been served by home deliveries of food, medicine and needed household goods. “Many of these households have received multiple deliveries, so the number of individual deliveries completed is significantly higher.”

As the COVID-19 crisis continues though, there are certainly more individuals and families that could use additional help, regardless of which island they live on.

Jennifer Armstrong at the San Juan Island Family Resource Center said, “All of the Resource Centers are working hard to make sure our islanders throughout the County are safe and have basic needs met. This is an important time to reach out if you need help. We are linked together to ensure we will do everything we can to assist the community.”

Need Help? Know someone who does? It’s easy and here’s how:

Lopez Island

Lopez Island Family Resource Center

Contessa Downey: 360-468-4117 /

San Juan County Senior Services

Roni Becker Wilkie: 360-468-2421 /

Orcas Island

Orcas Community Resource Center

Jana Daniel-Webb: 360-376-3184 /

San Juan County Senior Services

Heidi Bruce: 360-370-0591 /

San Juan Island

San Juan Island Family Resource Center

Telephone: 360-378-5246 /

San Juan County Senior Services

Debbie Haagensen: 360-370-7526 /