King County, YWCA to hold meeting about Passage Point
June 21, 2011
By Laura Geggel
Safety is on the minds of community members neighboring the future Passage Point facility.
The YWCA will provide housing at Passage Point for men and women recently released from incarceration who wish to reunite with their children. The residents of Passage Point, who would otherwise be homeless, will have access to housing, employment and counseling services. It’s slated to open its doors next month.
A half-dozen community leaders met with representatives from King County and the YWCA, as well as King County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Andrea Alexander at Evergreen Community Church during a May 24 meeting about safety procedures.
Passage Point, in the southern part of the Issaquah School District, has long been a hot topic for the area. Students living at Passage Point will attend Maple Hills Elementary School, Maywood Middle School or Liberty High School.
Since 2008, the Passage Point Community Advisory Committee, composed of community members, has met with King County and YWCA officials to offer input on Passage Point’s management plan, according to the contract between the YWCA and the county.
At the May 24 meeting, community members learned about the YWCA’s plans to contract with a security company for the first six months of Passage Point’s operation. Then, the YWCA will assess how to best handle security, listening to a recommendation from the security company.
Advisory committee members wanted to ensure that Passage Point residents, who will be given jobs at the facility, would not be allowed to work security.
After listening to community comments and internal discussions, YWCA staff members agreed with the advisory committee’s recommendation.
“We determined that for a number of different reasons, that wasn’t an idea we wanted to continue to pursue,” Linda Rasmussen, YWCA homeless initiatives director, said in a phone interview about whether residents could work as security.
Some community members, including alliance President Sean Kronberg, asked for more security details in the management plan.
The YWCA is still developing security plans and procedures, and may continue to modify them during Passage Point’s initial operation.
The committee will have the opportunity to give input about the security plans and procedures once they are finalized, Cheryl Markham, program manager for the King County Housing and Community Development Program, said.
Passage Point Community Advisory Committee
- 7 p.m. June 28
- Evergreen Community Church
- 20112 S.E. 152nd St., Renton