Enumclaw’s established destination for those in need, Plateau Outreach Ministries, is again pondering a leadership change.
In a move that reportedly surprised members of the POM board of directors, Victor Wong submitted his resignation just five months after taking the reins as executive director.
Mike Stensen, longtime president of the POM board, said Wong’s departure came at the worst possible time. The winter months are when services are most in demand and the recent cold snap has only made the situation more dire.
The board took quick action following Wong’s resignation, appointing Alicia Marshall as interim director, a position she will fill through the end of the year. Marshall is well-versed in the POM mission and practices, having served the past four years as program manager of POM’s food bank and Samaritan Project.
Stensen said the board of directors will be meeting today, Dec. 12, to chart a course of action regarding a permanent executive director.
Stability hadn’t been an issue for the organization, which was originally founded to assist the community’s senior citizens but has grown in scope. Prior to Wong’s appointment, Britt Nelson had headed POM for nearly seven years. When she announced her intention to leave the organization, Nelson gave the board several months to seek out a new leader. A broad search netted candidates both locally and from outside the area and, in the end, Wong emerged as the board’s No. 1 choice. He was already known throughout the community and in the POM offices, coming from Valley Cities Behavioral Health Care. For four years, he had spent time in Enumclaw and King County helping veterans, low-income citizens, the homeless and other vulnerable populations.
WHAT IS PLATEAU OUTREACH MINISTRIES?
From its building at the corner of Cole Street and Marshall Avenue, POM provides services to the community’s neediest citizens.
Social services are provided on behalf of the Plateau Ministerial Association and POM is funded by local churches and their congregations, among others. Despite that relationship, POM does not proselytize or cater only to the Christian faith community.
All in need are welcome but, due to limited resources, POM’s emergency assistance program, Samaritan Project, is limited to residents of Enumclaw, Buckley, Black Diamond, Wilkeson, Carbonado and South Prairie. However, the food and clothing bank and thrift store are open to all.
From its downtown location, POM has become a single stop for those in crisis – whether the need is for food and clothing or a voucher that helps keep lights and heat from being turned off. POM also has the ability to connect clients with other agencies.