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YWCA Passage Point

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15900 227th Ave SE
East Renton Highlands

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15900 227th Ave SE
Maple Valley, WA 98038


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Passage Point

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Passage Point Celebrates!
Friday, August 23, 2013

Passage Point has been open for two years!  It is a bit unbelievable how quickly time goes by.

As a new program, we have seen plenty ups and downs, stressful days, and also days when we are full of snuggly warm feelings because of the strides Passage Point residents have made and the successess they have had.

Here are just a few:

17 families have successfully graduated the program and moved into long-term permanant housing.

One mother got to see her first son graduate from high school and get his first job all in less than a month.  A huge accomplishment after a long hard road!

Partnering with Renton WorkSource, a number of parents have joined the career path and landed full-time jobs.  As one mother said, "I started working with WorkSource. I have my first job (ever)". 

49 parents have been reunited with their children (hooray!)

A partnership with Encompass has allowed 24 parents to participate in vital parenting classes that has improved their relationship with their children.

Summer programming, courtesy of the Jones Foundation, exposed the children of Passage Point to live theatre, painting, sculpting, and photography!

BlueLine Tailgate Express out did themselves again throwing a Tailgate bash for Passage Point families to celebrate the beginning of summer.  With food, DJ and party planning courtesy of It Happenz Productions, and sunny Seattle weather, they made it a day to remember.


program highlight—bringing art to passage point
Monday, April 08, 2013

Art is lots of fun. Just ask any child. They get to create and display colorful projects and make a mess at the same time.  For them, nothing, beats a day of paints, glue and glitter.  But art can be more than just fun.  It can be used not only as an inspirational tool, but to provide therapeutic benefits and help youth develop important skills.

According to Americans for the Arts, a non-profit whose mission is to sustain the arts in America, children who partake in art curriculums are more motivated and engaged in learning. Art stimulates memory, enhances communication, develops goal-setting and critical thinking skills, and plays an important role in cognitive, motor, language and social-emotional development.

And therapists have long been using art as a tool to help children deal with mental, emotional and physical trauma to provide a safe place where they can communicate their feelings without speaking. 

Over the past year, informal art classes and craft activities have proved successful with the children who live at Passage Point. 

Staff and parents noticed when children participated in these activities, they were more engaged and their behavior issues seemed to decrease.  At the beginning of 2013, with the support of The Jones Family Foundation, a one-year arts program for the children at Passage Point was implemented to expand on these already existing services.

Now, we are working with local artists, educational programs and wonderful community volunteers to offer a wide variety of six-week art curriculums to children of all ages. These classes will include photography, videography, theatre, poetry, dance and more. 

The first photography course just started in March. Taught by a wonderful volunteer from Microsoft, our teenagers are learning all the ins and outs of taking pictures. One excited participant declared, “I had no idea you could do that with a camera!” In April, we will start a painting and drawing class for children led by a local artist. And that is only the beginning.

Passage Point believes that the power of art can help children gain valuable leadership skills, boost creative thinking and serve as a therapeutic outlet to the traumas they have faced.

Art has the ability to change the world, but better yet, it has the power to change the life of a child.


YWCA recognized as a Community Hero!
Friday, August 24, 2012

From left to right: Andrea Van Horn, YWCA Passage Point. Back row: Duane Moss, Independent Metals; Dana Stirn, Kibble & Prentice; Josh Vanachtenberg, Symetra Financial. Front row: Anthony R., Andrew P.,Andrew K.

A group from YWCA Passage Point enjoyed VIP treatment at the August 18 Seattle Sounders match as part of YWCA’s selection for the Community Heroes Program, which honors local, outstanding leadership and service.

Insurance brokerage and financial services firm Kibble & Prentice nominated YWCA for the Community Heroes Program, and the nomination was approved by Symetra Financial and the Seattle Sounders FC, partners of the program.

The YWCA team included Andrew P., Andrew K. and Anthony R. from YWCA Passage Point, and Andrea Van Horn, Passage Point’s community resource coordinator. Dana Stirn, with Kibble & Prentice, Josh Vanachtenberg, with Symetra Financial, and Duane Moss, from Independent Metals, also attended the event.

The YWCA group was treated to recognition on the in-stadium video board, as well as given special access on the field and sidelines prior to the start of the match. The boys from YWCA Passage Point relished the experience.

“We are V.I.P.? This is so awesome, thank you for giving us this opportunity!” said Andrew P.

YWCA thanks Kibble & Prentice, Symetra Financial and the Sounders for the experience and the Community Hero recognition!

Briarwood Elementary students get gold stars
Tuesday, June 19, 2012


As the end of the school year comes to a close, YWCA Passage Point would like to give recognition to the students at Briarwood Elementary, in the Issaquah School District, for their outstanding community service.

For their year-end community service project, the Briarwood Elementary Student Council hosted a community drive, “Toiletries for Kids”, and collected thirteen boxes of toiletries and household products for YWCA Passage Point families.

Thank you to Briarwood’s principal Drew Terry and Counselor, Mary Fry, for thinking of the YWCA and choosing Passage Point as the recipients of “Toiletries for Kids”. And a huge thank-you to the students and parents at Briarwood for helping families in need! Three cheers for you!


Advocate for Change
Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Advocate for change and read the stories of individuals who are working to make their lives better! Firesteel, a social community sharing knowledge with the commitment to end homelessness in Washington State, is sharing stories of the strengths and hopes of YWCA Passage Point residents. 


See the blogs here:

How Does Your Garden Grow?
Monday, June 04, 2012

YWCA Passage Point's gardens are up with the creative minds and muscles of Cedar Grove Compost, YWCA Gen-Risers, and gardening mentor Terri Bates. We are excited to share the fruits (and vegetables!) of our labors with you. 

Nora Collins with Cedar Grove Compost staff take on the boxes.


From left, Alex, Leila, and Javari dig in and get dirty shoveling compost from Cedar Grove Compost.


Time to fill in the beds! Do you mean we have to fill all of it?


Hold steady! YWCA Gen-Risers, gardening mentor Terri Bates and Passage Point residents prepare the next two boxes.


From left, Royal shows Kymoni and volunteer Gen-Riser Heather Wahl just how it is done. Don't smash your finger!


Javari and Gen-Riser Whitney Curry contemplate where to put the parsley.  Salad anyone?


Alex gives his dad Casey a high-five and dirty hands.





Oh Passage Point, Passage Point, how does your garden grow?


Heather Wahl and Whitney Curry immortalize themselves and YWCA Gen-Risers!


And then when it is all done we celebrate...


by dressing up as rainbows, pirates, and witches?

Happy gardening!


ywca passage point goes green
Monday, April 30, 2012

Passage Point, with the help of generous sponsors is going green! We are donning our mud boots and grabbing our shovels and rakes this spring to create a community garden!

Families are often concerned about feeding their children the right, healthy food and often are stumped by what to fix.

Low-income families in particular have limited access to healthy, fresh vegetables and fruits and often do not have access to organic foods.

The truth is, processed foods are cheap and easy, and that is what many families will choose.

Thanks to Seattle Tilth’s Just Garden Program, Cedar Grove Compost, Whole Foods and the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah, YWCA Passage Point residents will be able to cultivate, sow and grow their own little vegetable garden to provide wholesome organic foods for their families.

We have three goals with the Community Garden, states Community Resource Coordinator Andrea VanHorn. “We want families to have access to healthy, fun colored food; provide parents opportunities to learn about nutrition and new ways of cooking; and lastly, organize fun extracurricular activities for families around the garden so they are outside and being active--weather permitting of course!” VanHorn said. 

Are you intersted in volunteering?  Join us on June 2nd, 2012, for YWCA Passage Point's "The Summer Garden Party" where we will be building the last three garden beds and celebrating with a potluck and games and activities for the families.  For more information contact YWCA Passage Point's community resource coordinator at

Thank you to all our sponsors and donors for sowing the seeds for YWCA Passage Point's community garden:

Seattle Tilth                                 Kiwanis Club of Issaquah      

Just Garden                                 Cedar Grove Compost

Whole Foods Market                  McLendon Hardware

City People's Mercantile             The Garden Hoard

Stoneway Hardware                    Swanson's Nursery

garden lovers in the local community



a life renewed - a family reunited
Monday, April 30, 2012

Nora has a lot to be proud of. On February 25th, 2012, the weekend of her daughter’s fourth birthday, her children got to come home to her at YWCA Passage Point. 

Neighbors and friends, excited for Nora’s achievements, all chipped in and threw Nora’s daughter a birthday neither she nor her mother will ever forget. “I’m grateful for all the help and support people have given me, I cannot believe my luck,” says Nora, somewhat sidestepping the truth that is was hard work and determination—rather than luck—that helped her arrive at YWCA Passage Point.

Battling years of addiction, Nora's choices finally caught up with her when her children were taken away. 

“When my son was born, they took my children into state custody and I agreed to a drug and alcohol assessment,” Nora said, “I was honest with everyone right away that I could not stop without long-term inpatient treatment.”

It was then she made the best decision of her life—she signed up for six months of inpatient treatment. In April of 2011 Nora received a call that a spot was open. The next day she left to begin a new life. 

This month Nora is celebrating one year of sobriety, and she knows there is no turning back. “I am still working with CPS (Child Protective Services) and Passage Point and taking advantage of as many services I can to learn how to become the best mom I can be.”

Nora’s achievements continue. She successfully graduated from outpatient treatment and made a decision that when she reaches her second year of   sobriety, she wants to work at the treatment center and help others get clean.

Her oldest son Donnie is enrolled in Job Corps where he is becoming a medical assistant. Nora was beaming with joy when she found out Donnie received a perfect score on his GED reading test. 

And her youngest children, Leila and Kayne, are healthy, happy and thriving with their mother. 

Said Nora, smiling: “I just can’t believe how lucky I am…”

A Special Letter of Thanks
Monday, February 13, 2012

Dear Community Members:

Passage Point is a lifetime opportunity for me. The services that are provided here on-site give me a lot of encouragement to turn my life around and the ability to reunite with my 3 year old son Dere’on. I’m so pleased because without this place, I would be a lost soul.      

Passage Point has opened doors for single parents that want another chance to “get it together”. For example, my case manager helps me stay focused, more organized and refers me to other resources in the community if I need them. The life I’ve lived hasn’t been the movie type but I now have the ability to advocate for myself as a young adult.

I feel at home at Passage Point, even through the holidays. I had the best Christmas and holiday season here at Passage Point, in all my 21 years. As a result of my plan towards reunification, my son was able to spend Christmas with me in my home. Adopt-a-Family was wonderful and I am truly grateful for the gifts that were given to my son. I received one as well! But the best gift of was all was having the moment to watch my son smile and enjoy himself in my apartment. I must admit it brought me tears to my eyes as a result of the joy I felt in my heart and to know what I have accomplished through this program.

Upcoming programs such as Support Groups, Financial Planning, and Phonics Fun for Toddlers will be starting this month not only to help children learn and interact with parents; but to educate and prepare us parents for the future.

This program has been a positive place for me to start a new life; to have the services to help me become independent and to make goals and be confident that I can achieve them.

I just want to give a big thanks to the YWCA, Adopt-A-Family, and to all the sponsors and supportive people, providers and services of the community.


Tiffany Anderson


Holiday Magic Happens at Passage Point
Monday, February 13, 2012
Christmas dreams came true this holiday season as families reunited and had the chance to spend Christmas together, some for the first time in years. Over the Christmas week, Passage Point staff, neighbors, donors and Christmas elves went big to bring the true meaning of Christmas to families in need. 

With the generosity of Adopt-A-Family supporters, every family was guaranteed a Christmas and no child went without a visit from Santa Claus. Parents were in tears when they were brought their bags of gifts. 

Nora, one mother living at Passage Point said while nearly crying “This was best Christmas I’ve had in years. I’m really grateful, if it wasn’t for Adopt-A-Family I wouldn’t have been able to provide as much for my children.” More Christmas magic came true for her when she was told she would be fully reuniting with her children this spring!

Neighbors and friends joined forces to create a winter wonderland around Passage Point homes. With generous donations , we were blessed with a Christmas Tree that residents cherished, beautiful cedar garlands, ornaments and more. 

Christmas music blared as residents made cedar swags and more decorations went up in the common areas. 

The Wednesday before Santa Claus came to visit and every family got to take home a set of photos. Smiles were bright as the children played and the parents laughed with Santa.

Daetra, a Passage Point resident, could not believe it. She explained, “This is the first family picture we have taken in years. Thank you to everyone for such a wonderful gift.” 

All day families and neighbors got to participate in holiday crafts, indulge on frozen yogurt treats thanks to Kurt and Karen Reasoner at U Top It Frozen Yogurt, and when evening came we surprised everyone with a traditional Christmas Dinner and presents underneath the Christmas Tree.

Stuffed and feeling very merry, residents all agreed that this was the best Christmas ever. 

Thank you to our friends for making this holiday magical!!

Adopt-A-Family Sponsors

Blue Line Tailgate Express

Brandy Tierney & Family

Carla Wigen

Dawn Peschek

Jim Richards

Kara Mulqueeney

Kari Olson

Kim George

Kimberly Montague

Korista Barney

Kristi Kirshner

Kurt & Karen      Reasoner

Kurt & Lisa van Brero

Leone Trussell & her youth group

Lynda Baker

Lynn Evans

Patricia Coleman

Rod & Lynette Case

Sandi Schram

Shannon Leonard

Stephanie Nored

The Osborne Family

The Hawkins Family

The Rowley Family

The Schutt Family

Toby Turlay

Trecy Trimble

U Top It Frozen    Yogurt staff





Sports Fans Unite!
Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sports Fans Unite!


Wow! YWCA Passage Point crew is speechless again with all the wonderful community support pouring in.

Thank you to Blue Line Express Tailgate, which has been hard at work at home games encouraging sports fans to donate hygiene and school supplies for Passage Point residents. Not only are they hard at work for the YWCA but are also hosting Brats for Breasts to raise awareness and funds for Breast Cancer Research.

Learn more about Blue Line Express Tailgate at their website or on Facebook.

If you are going to a game, swing by, say hi and check out this amazing group and all the sports fans out there whose hearts are as big as their cheers!

Voices From the Inside
Friday, September 30, 2011

What if?

It is a question we all ask ourselves and think about almost on a daily basis. For parents who are incarcerated or have been incarcerated,” what if” is an even bigger question.

In the United States, there are 7.3 million people in prison, jail, probation or on parole. What if we could ask 7.3 million people their story? What would we learn? What would they learn?

Detective Kim Bogucki of the Seattle Police Department posed a question to a group of prisoners at the Washington Correction Center for Women. What built out of simple but poignant question was “The If Project”. A writing and storytelling workshop where women and their children get to share their experiences and form a bond of empowerment and healing among each other.

By listening to the experiences of the inmates themselves, they hope to learn information that can be used to break the familial cycle of incarceration and empower already incarcerated women with esteem so once they are released, they don’t return. 

Hear their stories here:

The If Project reminds us that we are all human, and we all have our “What If’s”. If we take a moment to listen, to learn and to support the possibilities for not only the storytellers but also ourselves are endless.  

Warming Hearts and Homes
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What do you get when you have pounds upon pounds of beautiful fabric and a caring group of creative people with hearts bigger than the universe?

Quilts from the Heart!  

Today, YWCA Passage Point was blessed with a delivery of 102 handmade quilts from Quilts from the Heart. The total hours spent making 102 quilts? 2,040 hours! Each and every parent and child will be able to pick out a quilt – courtesy of this amazing group. Not enough hugs can be given and no number of words can be expressed to show how grateful YWCA Passage Point is for this amazing gift. 




Thank you Quilts from the Heart for warming the hearts and homes of Passage Point!

Welcome Families!
Thursday, September 08, 2011

This last week the pitter patter of footsteps and the thump of a basketball could be heard on the playgrounds as the first families moved into Passage Point. After much preparation, families now have a place to call home! One new resident walked into her apartment and exclaimed how blessed she was to be able to live here. Now that is what we like to hear!

Thank you to HomeStreet Bank and its customers and the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah for sponsoring Passage Point and Maple Hills community members for all their donations. With family pictures up, flowers on the porches and children running around smiling and laughing, everyone’s support has helped make the apartments warm, inviting and a great place to call home. 




Celebrating a Milestone – YWCA Passage Point Community Opening!
Tuesday, July 12, 2011

After five long years, YWCA staff, partners, supporters, neighbors and friends gathered July 7 to celebrate the opening of YWCA Passage Point – a new supportive housing community for parents, primarily women, coming out of long-term confinement who wish to reunite with their minor children and families.

More than 150 people attended the event, including speakers from King County, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and King County Executive Dow Constantine. Joyful smiles and tears filled the building as YWCA Passage Point client Cynthia Liggett received a standing ovation after sharing her story.

The facility was open for a tour following the celebration and was well received. From beginning to end (and really, there is no end), Passage Point has come a long way. Welcome home!

At one time (in 2009) building D was dark and foreboding.

And now... it is warm and inviting!

In 2009, where once overgrown grass stood...

Is now a children's playground!

For more photos of Passage Point and our opening ceremony visit our facebook page at www.facebook/YWCASeattle or the YWCA photo album at