In a tradition going back to the 1970s, the Human Rights Commission honors individuals and organizations making significant contributions to ensure the human rights of people in Bloomington each year with the Omar Bonderud Award. This year, Oasis for Youth received the award for its work assisting youth and families in the community. Oasis for Youth serves Bloomington, Edina and Richfield with the mission to elevate youth in their own community. The organization does this by providing employment support, rental assistance, outreach and a drop-in center that offers food, clothes, showers, a place to do laundry, legal aid and more.
During the height of the pandemic, Oasis for Youth served more than 350 youth with 184 being new to Oasis. The organization distributed 713 meals, made more than 3,000 virtual or in-person visits and provided nearly $23,000 in rental subsidies.
“This past year has been profoundly difficult for everyone, but the strength of our community allowed us to navigate it all. Through a global pandemic, a social uprising and the total disruption to our day-to-day work when a pipe burst in the Oasis basement, we have continued advocating for our youth,” Oasis Executive Director Nicole Mills said. “Receiving this award is a welcome recognition of Oasis staff’s work, but the real honor is getting to serve the youth in our community.”