Established in 1989, West Seattle Helpline’s (WSH’s) mission is to stop homelessness before it starts by supporting our neighbors who are facing an emergency or unexpected hardship.
In 2016, West Seattle Helpline (WSH) came to Ostara with a need to better define their fundraising strategy through grants. Ostara began work to identify grant prospects, create a tailored grant strategy, and compose compelling narratives that aligned with the organization’s mission, programs, and staff capacity.
From 2016 to 2019, West Seattle Helpline increased their number of secured grants by 500%. With the help of this additional funding, WSH was able to increase their staff from 0.75 to 3.5 full-time employees, double their pool of volunteers, and most importantly, help prevent homelessness for over 1,000 additional people and children each year.
In early 2019, Ostara facilitated conversations between West Seattle Helpline and their long-time partner West Seattle Food Bank; the two organizations came together to actively explore how to better utilize resources and programs to best serve their shared community. Through this process they identified a significant service crossover, a strong community focus, and a desire to increase capacity, leading to the decision to merge the two organizations.
In 2020, Ostara continues to shepherd the success of WSH’s grant program by solidifying a narrative and grant strategy that encompasses both organization’s histories, newly-merged mission, and ongoing programs.