Success! Day Center for Houseless Opens with Boosted Financial Support from City
The Federal Way Day Center is now open, thanks to organizing by Sound Alliance leaders and allies over the last 3+ years.
In addition, Federal Way City Council recently approved $75,000 per year for the next several years to support the Center, an increase of $25,000 per year over the first two years of funding.
Sound Alliance leaders celebrating initial funding at a 2015 Assembly
The Center, which is being operated by Catholic Community Services, will provide basic services for unsheltered community members such as showers, laundry facilities, PO boxes, computer access, etc. Counseling and case management will be available as well.
These services embody the values of two Sound Alliance member institutions that have led most actively in Federal Way:
“Our faith calls on us to struggle for the dignity and worth of all people,” said Lynn Ormsby, a lay leader from St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church.
“As Unitarian Universalists, we take action to ensure the inherent dignity and worth of every person,” said Lucia Faithfull, a lay leader from Saltwater Unitarian Universalist Church.
Federal Way’s investment in the Day Center stands in contrast to other neighboring South King County cities where citizens and elected officials have passed ordinances with the intent of criminalizing homelessness and denying services to people suffering from serious mental illness.
Sound Alliance organizing principles were key in winning this victory. Alliance leaders used everything from research actions to better understand the problems of homelessness and mental illness, to moving from these overwhelming problems to a winnable Issue, to power analysis, and more, over the course of the campaign. More on this in the Federal Way Day Center Case Study.
Sound Alliance leaders also demonstrated their commitment to the so-called “Iron Rule” which is to never do for others what they can do for themselves - and to build power with people rather than to do things for them. Leaders within Federal Way’s unsheltered community were key partners and allies in this campaign. Some publicly shared about their experience, participated in key negotiations, and mobilized other homeless community members to demonstrate broad community support for the Day Center at action assemblies with the Mayor and City Council.
A special congratulations to Lynn Ormsby of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, and the Sound Alliance team at Saltwater Unitarian Universalist Church, for their leadership in working with allied organizations to help the Center raise the last bit of funds and finish the regulatory and administrative steps necessary to open. Just this month, the Day Shelter Coalition is celebrating raising $101,425 for the center, surpassing their end of the year $100,000 fundraising goal!
If you would like to invest in leadership development so that more of these victories become possible, please donate to the Sound Alliance!
See pictures of the campaign on Facebook
- Homeless, others urge city to develop day shelter in Federal Way, Federal Way Mirror, 11/14/14
- Homeless advocates urge council to locate hygiene center in Federal Way, Federal Way Mirror, 2/20/15
- Organizations step up to house, staff homeless day shelter in Federal Way, Federal Way Mirror, 3/14/15
- City Council approves funds for Federal Way day shelter, Federal Way Mirror, 10/22/15
- "Joy In Our Town" Discusses Federal Way Day Center, KTBW - Trinity Broadcasting Network, 9/15/16
Day Center Links: