Out of the Woods provides emergency food and shelter for homeless families in Thurston County and guides them toward self-sufficiency with dignity.

GardenersAssociated with the Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation and located on OUUC property, Out of the Woods is a separate 501(c)3 organization that has been operating for over a decade, originally as an overnight shelter. Today the shelter offers emergency services for families with children for up to 90 days. Our goal is to help families with children to move on from homelessness to stable, sustainable housing.

Supportive environment

Parents and children find a home-like atmosphere in a welcoming, rural environment. Guidance in finding and accessing appropriate services is an important part of the program.

Out of the Woods does not discriminate against anyone on the basis of race, color, sexual orientation, marital status, political ideology, religion or gender.

New family

New family, brand new baby

Our recent excitement has been the birth of the infant Alexis on August 26, one day after we welcomed her mother and sister to the shelter. Another guest family was moving on to other housing, making it possible for us to accept the new family and help them nurture Alexis in a safe home. Two days before the birth, the family only had overnight shelter.

Leadership and staff

Out of the Woods is governed by an all-volunteer working Board of Directors that meets at least monthly. The shelter is staffed by experienced personnel and trained volunteers – the backbone of the program.


The shelter has provided thousands of bed nights, thousands of meals, hundreds of food coupons, food closet visits, Thanksgiving dinners, holiday gifts and a stable environment in which chldren can learn and grow.

How you can help

Your financial support is urgently needed to provide a shelter in which dignity and self worth are affirmed through a caring approach to the homeless. To make a financial contribution, please click here.

We need Board members from the wider community and also “Friends” of Out of the Woods. Board members meet monthly for full Board meetings and in between on areas they are responsible for such as grant-writing, public education, fund-raising, communications, finance and administration. “Friends” work on specific assignments under the direction of a Board member or subcommittee. View the application form here.