A remodel to the Plateau Outreach Ministries facility has paid off by attracting new programs from out-of-area service providers including classes on job hunting and nutrition, counseling on applying for food stamps and insurance as well as mobile medical services from county and state agencies.
POM has gradually made improvements to the building it purchased at 1806 Cole St. in 2010. It began with a remodel to the thrift store which generates income that supports the costs of our services. Last year’s remodel created open flexible space for the food bank, added multiple interview rooms for interviews and case management, added a shower and laundry facility for the homeless and improved the space for sorting food and clothing donations.
All of these activities, made possible by generous donors, were planned. What wasn’t planned was the number of agencies coming to POM to use the new facility to provide services to local residents who would otherwise have to travel to Auburn, Federal Way, Tacoma or Seattle to seek help. Given that many families in our community are still suffering from the economic recession and need assistance with meeting basic needs, this is a blessed development.
For example, POM has partnered with the Multi Service Center in Federal Way for several years. The center provides case managers during winter months to help with applications for federal energy assistance. The new space has allowed that service to continue and served more than 250 families this year. It has also brought their employment specialist here to teach people about job searches. In March, Seattle/King County Public Health began providing a case manager weekly, who assists with county and state resources, helps with applications and checks status within their system. In coordination with the Enumclaw School District’s ECEAP program, SNAC (Seattle Nutrition Action Consortium) will provide cooking and nutrition classes May 14 and 20.
When POM decided to purchase and remodel 1806 Cole St., we believed the building would help us be more efficient and through that efficiency enable us to modestly increase services. We never dreamed of the dividends we would reap in services brought here by others. We “built it” and they came! Many thanks to the supporters who donated to the capital campaign that continues to pay for our building upgrade. We have much to do, but we have much to be grateful for.
Britt Nelson, executive director