Rental Assistance in San Juan County

Submitted by Megan Ehrmantraut for OCRC.

If you or someone you care about is in need of temporary rental/mortgage assistance or experiencing housing insecurity, the Orcas Community Resource Center (OCRC) offers referrals and programs to help. Holly Southern, OCRC Programs Administrator, shares, “Access to safe and stable housing is a basic human right. When we help someone secure affordable housing, or keep them safely sheltered in their current home, we are saying we value you as an important part of our vibrant community.”

Over the past year, OCRC referred 200+ households to the Opportunity Council in Bellingham for San Juan County Rental Assistance. During the month of May 2022 alone, the Opportunity Council worked with 20 San Juan County households to provide rental assistance totaling $88,026 and covering 91 months of assistance for islanders in need. Please visit for eligibility and application information.

In addition, OCRC has connected over 70 island households with other available housing programs over the past year. Through these services clients have received help with deposits and rent, along with case management and goal setting to ensure housing stability and long-term success.

OCRC strives to further stability for our community’s most vulnerable populations including seniors, disabled, veterans, families, individuals and the unsheltered. Claire Nollman, OCRC’s Unsheltered Case Manager, is here to provide the ongoing support needed to unsheltered clients combating homelessness and associated challenges. These barriers oftentimes include access to food, showers, mental health services, medical care, and substance use disorder treatment.

“How does all of this come together?” you might ask. Donations from community members like you, grants from local organizations such as the Orcas Island Community Foundation, and county, state, and federal funding make OCRC’s housing services possible. If you would like to learn more about our services or make a donation, please visit our website at