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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Executive celebrates grand opening of Passage Point housing project in Maple Valley

Summary

King County Executive Dow Constantine celebrated the YWCA’s Passage Point at a grand opening celebration for the housing project that will provide 46 single parents who are exiting the corrections system with not just a new home, but the services and support to build a new life and a new future for themselves and for their children.

Story

Passage PointKing County Executive Dow Constantine celebrated the YWCA’s Passage Point at a grand opening celebration for the housing project that will provide 46 single parents who are exiting the corrections system with not just a new home, but the services and support to build a new life and a new future for themselves and for their children.

“In a county named in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., equity and social justice must be at the core of our vision for our county’s future,” said Executive Constantine. “We wanted to create a program that would support both the parents and the children – and help the family to succeed.”

Executive Constantine praised the extraordinary collaboration over nearly a decade to replace the old Cedar Hills Addiction Treatment Facility with the new facility that reunites parents returning to the community after incarceration with their children.

The Executive recognized Sue Sherbrooke, Chief Executive Officer of YWCA Seattle | King |Snohomish and the YWCA staff for their exceptional commitment to helping women and families achieve self-sufficiency. He also commended Stephen Norman and the King County Housing Authority for early and steadfast support for Passage Point and the dedication of 46 housing vouchers.

Rep. Tina Orwall, 33rd District was recognized by both Executive Constantine and Stephen Norman for her commitment to homeless housing and her participation as a member of the original design team.

A YWCA client of Passage Point, Cynthia Liggitt, shared her story of returning to the community following her own incarceration and the challenges she faces in building a new life for herself and her toddler.

Executive Constatine “I’m learning to tell the truth about my life so that I don’t go down that wrong route again, and I hope that my story might help others,” said Liggett. In thanking the YWCA for the services she is receiving and the hope she feels for the future, Liggett said, “I honestly do not know where my daughter and I would be if not for Passage Point. I am so grateful.”

A comprehensive range of services will be available, mostly on-site, including mental health and substance abuse counseling and treatment, case management, parenting classes, school liaison and children’s services, and education, job training and placement services – all with the goal of increasing the strength and stability of the family and building a path toward self sufficiency.

The YWCA is working closely with the Issaquah School District to ensure that the children living at Passage Point will be integrated into district schools. The site includes a children’s playground, computer labs, and sport courts.

“YWCA Passage Point will change lives for generations,” said Sherbrooke. “Like the life-changing work that happens here with parents and their children, the Passage Point campus is a successful partnership among a wide range of community members and organizations, including the King County 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness. It could not have happened without our King County partners and a host of other very committed community associates. We thank all those who joined us in this innovative venture, including King County, the King County Veterans and Human Services Levy, and the King County Housing Authority.”

The event marked the culmination of nine years of work by King County and many partners, seeking to find the right future for the county-owned site of the former Cedar Hills Addiction Treatment Facility that closed its doors in 2002. The YWCA began construction in the summer of 2010 to refurbish the buildings and restore the grounds.

One building on the site, the Fagan Building, was torn down in a green deconstruction project coordinated by the County’s Department of Natural Resources and Parks and by the County Facilities Management Division. The project included an on-the-job training component for 10 YouthSource students enrolled in the King County Work Training Program who gained salvage and recycling skills through their internship. The project responded to the neighbors’ request to remove the building in an environmentally sensitive process that would restore the site to its natural habitat, and resulted in reusing and keeping out of the landfill more than 90 percent of the materials from the building.

King County contributed almost $5 million in capital funding to the project, including $4 million in current expense funds and nearly $1 million in Veterans and Human Services Levy funds. In addition to capital funds, over $1.5 million in additional Levy funds have been invested in education, employment and treatment services to help parents succeed as they exit the criminal justice system. Other funders of the project include the King County Housing Authority, the federal government via federal stimulus grants, the State of Washington, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

For more information on the Passage Point project, contact Cheryl Markham, Housing and Community Development Program Coordinator at 206-263-9067.



King County Executive
Dow Constantine
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