OSWEGO — The Desens House recently hosted a community outreach Winter Warm Up event in Washington Square Park to distribute winter wear and various resources to community residents in need. 

Pie, coffee, and cookies were also available free or charge. A Cam’s Pizzeria food truck made an appearance to hand out slices of pizza in the park as well. 

The Desens House is under the guidance of executive director Dean Wright. 

“We were able to tally exactly how many people we helped with our winter clothes — and that number was 72 residents, which is pretty amazing,” Wright said. 

The Desens House is a “holistic, faith-based, community-driven model of recovery, dedicated to setting generations free from substance dependency,” according to its website and Facebook page.

According to Wright, the name “Desens” comes from one of the original founding families of Elim Grace Church.  The Desens House is described as being the “next generation” of the Elim Grace Church.

The Desens House is looking forward to 2022 and extended outreach programs — a proposed Nook will function as a rest and recovery room that will allow community members in recovery to “drop in” and integrate into the culture of the Resource Center and the Desens community. 

“Addiction is often called one of the loneliest diseases, and the isolation enforced throughout a year of COVID has made everything much worse,” Wright noted. “To combat this isolation, we are remodeling a resource center that will functions as a hospitality house and skill center for women in recovery. We will rally around women overcoming substance dependency and isolation. Our goal is to develop relationships as we learn life skills, hobbies and healthy coping skills.”

The Nook will showcase the functional art, furniture and creative projects and will motivate the learning of new skills and hobbies. In addition, it will provide a safe space for the daily practice and skills of living a life of sobriety.

With fundraising efforts in place, The Desens House hopes to open The Nook in the spring of 2022.

“We need more spaces that target the demographic that tackles the issue of sobriety,” Wright said. “We’re trying to pull people into our community to allow them to sit in the space and take part in a variety of activities, maybe grab a cup of coffee, work on their resume, or participate in money management classes,” Wright said. 

Wright also expressed the desire to incorporate artistic activities into the Nook space, including furniture refinishing, stained glass art, and more. 

“We’re looking to incorporate game nights, various workshops, perhaps even sand art. This is very much a non-programmed space with the potential for many things to be allowed to happen,” Wright noted. “We’re also looking to be able to pull in some of that road traffic from Farnham and welcome them in. This is very much a vibrant community with so much potential. There’s a kitchen in the back of the house that we’re looking to use for baking purchases and perhaps partner with local businesses and bakeries to sell our goods.”

Wright also praised colleagues and coworkers Ellie Miller and Community Program Director Rachel Hendricks for their hard work and dedication to the cause. 

“It’s been great to see her dedication here, especially working on guiding women to the other side. She’s pretty cool,” Wright told The Palladium-Times. 

Wright says she hopes to raise $10,000 by the spring of 2022 in order to fund Nook and Resource Center renovations, activities, programming and other resources.