Siuslaw Outreach Services in Florence serves those in crisis situations who may have nowhere else to turn. The agency got its start in 1986 as a shelter for women and children from domestic violence and sexual assault, but its mission has since expanded to meet many community needs.
“Today, we provide not only advocacy for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault but also sex trafficking,” says Bob Teter, executive director of SOS. The nonprofit also provides financial aid for people who are struggling with rent or utilities due to an unexpected crisis.
“We have clothing and cold-weather gear for the homeless. We have homelessness prevention programs. We provide self-sufficiency education in the community, for clients and students in the school district, and we partner with a lot of agencies in town to fill whatever needs are out there,” he says.
To fulfill its mission, SOS counts on the crucial support of community members and its business partners, such as Oregon Pacific Bank.
“We use Oregon Pacific Bank for our checking and savings accounts, but it’s more than that,” Bob says. “We have staff from Oregon Pacific Bank who come and do self-sufficiency financial management classes for our clients.”
In addition to helping people take steps toward financial independence, OPB helps the agency with fundraising events and marketing.
“What I love about Oregon Pacific Bank is that they look at you as a person and not as an account,” he says. “They are very invested in the community, and the sustainability and the vitality of the community. The nice thing about a small community bank is that we’re all in this together – we’re all working together to make our community better.”