Harlan Dodson Speaker at Oasis Center 50th Anniversary

October 27, 2019

Harlan Dodson, one of the founders of Oasis Center, was a featured speaker for its 50th anniversary celebration on October 26, 2019.  His remarks provided a glimpse into Nashville life fifty years ago and the origins of Oasis Center.

According to Harlan, 1969 Nashville was the “It City.” It was a wonderful place where people came to chase their dreams, but it was also

a place where the homeless population had reached a critical point. Whether they were run away teens looking for an escape, or young people drawn to the streets due to addiction, there was an overwhelming crisis and no one knew what to do about it. The organization, which started in 1969 as the Rap House, began with some individuals saying somebody needed to step up and do something about it, and they did. That group of people started figuring out steps they could take to help.

Oasis Center has carried that vision forward, continuing to see many of the problems in our community, and still stepping up to figure them out as they arise. Oasis now has over 20 programs available to struggling youth and their families, and strives to continue to build on the foundation it laid 50 years ago.

You can believe that the ever-young team at Oasis would identify the issues which, as Sue Fort White eloquently put it, “troubled and troubling teens would be facing – and would take action to address them.” As Harlan Dodson says:  “you cannot predict Oasis, you can only believe it.”

To learn more about Oasis Center, click here to visit their website.


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