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About Us

HOMEPAGE > ABOUT US

1994-1995

Our Sisters House is Born

Our Sisters’ House had its inception when our Co-Founder, Sharon Manier, had a vision for court-involved Black girls. This vision arose from her observations of the disparities within the juvenile justice system while working as a drug and alcohol counselor and a CASA at Reman Hall during the late 80s. With her sister-in-law Bettye Blakeney by her side, they decided to take action. In 1994, these two incredible women opened an 8-bed group home in Tacoma’s North End. The home served as a safe haven for homeless girls of color and adjudicated youth within the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration. It provided comprehensive support, including case management, access to the YMCA, drug and alcohol counseling, anger management, educational and employment assistance, family reunification, and vital life skills training in areas such as cooking, grocery shopping, financial literacy, and etiquette. 

2001

The First Federal Grant

In 2001, OSH took a significant step forward by applying for and receiving its first federal grant from the Office on Violence Against Women. This grant enabled OSH to provide civil legal advocacy to Black and women of color experiencing domestic violence. From there, our journey into offering culturally specific domestic violence services began.  

2003

A Temporary Setback

In 2003, despite their dedication, the group home had to close its doors when the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration chose to keep youth within institutions rather than within the community. Undeterred, Bettye and Sharon remained committed to serving as a resource for Black girls in our community. During their work, they identified other pressing needs, such as sexual assault, domestic violence, sex trafficking, and neglect. They decided to focus on domestic violence, as it affected around 90% of the girls they had worked with, seemed to know no boundaries, and lacked adequate resources in the community. 

2016

Back in Action

In 2016, we were able to return to our initial passion for working with youth, formalizing a partnership with the Pierce County Juvenile Court. Through this collaboration, we provide evidence-based positive youth development programs, life coaching, basic needs assessments, and act as a community partner for Diversion and Family First initiatives. Today, we provide a diverse range of services, aimed at wholeheartedly supporting Black women in need of domestic violence advocacy, legal assistance, support groups, mental health counseling, and emergency financial aid. Our commitment to empowering and supporting Black women and youth continues to drive us forward, as we strive to make a meaningful and lasting impact in our community. 

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