Frequently Asked Questions

Any and all questions you might have about Oasis. If your questions are not answered, please email us.

All of Oasis’s physical locations are currently closed until further notice. That includes our Tacoma, Key Peninsula, and Lakewood locations.

Oasis is currently offering weekly virtual programming from Monday to Saturday until we are able to open up our physical locations again.

We are also available for youth intakes and general inquiries by email, phone, or text from Monday to Saturday 11am – 4pm and available 24/7 by phone or text in crisis situations.

Oasis will reopen our physical locations as soon as it is safe to do so. 

A transition period may be needed until we can get our all of our in-person programs and services fully running again.

Oasis is not an acronym. The name was chosen by youth to symbolize what the Oasis program is to them. In the 1980s and early 1990s, Oasis was known by the acronym U.G.L.Y., which stood for “United Gay and Lesbian Youth.”

Normally, Oasis is open for youth intakes by appointment and during these drop-in hours at the following locations:

Downtown Tacoma
Thur-Sat:  4pm-10pm

Lakewood
Wednesday: 2pm-6:30pm

Key Peninsula
Tuesday: 3pm-6pm

Our physical location is not open to the general public without an appointment. Please get in touch with us by phone, email, or using the contact form if you would like to speak with an Oasis representative.

Oasis has one permanent location in downtown Tacoma and satellite programs throughout Pierce County.

Downtown Tacoma (Main Location)
2215 Pacific Ave Tacoma, WA 98402

Lakewood
Behind St. Mary’s Church at 10630 Gravelly Lake Dr. SW Lakewood, WA 98499

Key Peninsula
Key Peninsula Civic Center at 170170 S Vaughn Rd NW Vaughn, WA 98394

That’s great! We love meeting parents! Please contact Oasis to make an appointment, and we can answer any questions you might have. We would also love to give you a tour of our center during non drop-in hours! Please give us a call at 253.671.2838 or e-mail us!

Check-in is a Thursday night tradition here at Oasis that has been going on for nearly 28 years. During check-in, we sit in a circle and everyone says their name, their preferred gender pronoun, how their week has been, and answers a question that we decide on that night. The question could be anything from “What are your views on being out at work?” to “What is the song that represents your week?” Check-in is one of the best times to get to know other youth and to hear announcements.

At check-in, when we say our names, we also say our preferred gender pronouns. Over time, we’ve realized that just like names, we can’t assume the pronoun(s) people might want others to use. Se we say our preferred gender pronoun to let everyone else know if we go by “she/her/hers”, “he/him/his”,”they/them/theirs” or another pronoun.

Starting in 1997, Oasis became a program of PCAF. PCAF stants for Pierce County AIDS Foundation. For more information about PCAF, please visit their website. PCAF is our fiscal sponser.

Oasis recieves funding from private foundations, government contracts, and individual donors. Our funders include:

  • Bamford Foundation
  • City of Lakewood
  • City of Tacoma
  • Greater Tacoma Community Foundation
  • Greater Tacoma Community Foundation Youth Philanthropy Board
  • Marco J. Heidner Charitable Trust
  • Pride Foundation
  • Rotary Club of Tacoma No.8
  • Washington State – Office of Crime Victims Advocacy
  • Women’s Funding Alliance
  • Hundreds of individual donors

Oasis truly represents our community at large – we are diverse in belief, identity, and where we come from. Our common ground is our community and experiences. 

In 2012, 432 youth attended Oasis. Of these youth, 45% identified as female, 3% identified as transgender or gender-queer, and 49% identified as male. Of those youth, 4% identified as Asian or Pacific Islander, 10% identified as Black, 2% identified as Native American, 5% identified as Hispanic or Latino, 24% identified as multiracial, and 57% identified as white. Additionally, 45% of youth served are between the ages of 14-18, and 55% are between the ages of 19-24.

There isn’t really a “typical” night at a place like Oasis, but you can generally expect that during the first two hours Oasis is open, people trickle in from school or work. This is a good time to talk with staff, do homework, or check email. A little later on, Oasis is a busy place, with lots of people hanging out, playing pool, listening to music, eating dinner, or playing games. If there are any scheduled programs or activities, these usually take place between 7pm and 9pm, and the expectation is that everyone who is present will take part in the scheduled activity. During the last part the evening, it is generally less busy at Oasis, and people can be found having conversations, playing games, cleaning, or just relaxing together. 

At Oasis, you can access many kinds of resources. We can connect you to other agencies, go with you to appointments, provide you with informational brochures and pamphlets that you can take with you, as well as emergency financial assistance. Oasis staff offer information and resources about: HIV testing and counseling, smoking cessation, depression and mental health, safer sex and STIs, suicide prevention, sexual assault prevention, coming out issues, legal issues, employment and housing, family issues and relationships, health care, academic help, and support around gender identity. Please talk with staff to find out more about these resources.

INFO

Crisis hotlines

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