YWCA opens campus near Issaquah for homeless parents

July 12, 2011

Cynthia Liggitt shares her story, and tells how she was helped by the YWCA, during the July 7 grand opening of Passage Point’s transitional housing. By Greg Farrar

Cynthia Liggitt is a single mother, the former wife of a minister and a former inmate at the Washington Corrections Center for Women.

“It still pains me to say that, but I’m learning to tell the truth about my life so that I don’t go down that wrong route again, and I hope that my story might help others,” said Liggitt, who was charged with felony theft and forgery and served four and a half years in prison.

With the help of YWCA’s Passage Point program, Liggitt has finished her incarceration, earned a degree, and received parenting classes and counseling that have helped both her and her 2-year-old daughter, Jayden Wyrick.

Liggitt and local dignitaries, including King County Executive Dow Constantine, spoke at the grand opening of Passage Point in Maple Valley on July 7.

Located next to the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill, the six buildings have 46 housing units for men and women recently released from incarceration who wish to reunite with their children. The residents of Passage Point will have access to housing, employment and counseling services.

Residents must be homeless at the time of intake. Violent offenders or people convicted of crimes against children will not be allowed to stay at Passage Point.

The facility is already in high demand.

Tiffany Bradley, from Tacoma, was incarcerated after being charged with 19 counts of identity theft. She was also addicted to methamphetamine, she said.

In October, “I’ll be two years clean,” she said.

Bradley is completing her work-release program at the Washington Corrections Center for Women, and she will exit the system in October. She finished her screening for Passage Point on July 6, and attended the grand opening with her case manager so she could see the campus.

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YWCA opens campus near Issaquah for homeless parents

July 8, 2011

NEW — 11 a.m. July 8, 2011

Cynthia Liggitt is a single mother, the former wife of a minister and a former inmate at the Washington Corrections Center for Women.

“It still pains me to say that, but I’m learning to tell the truth about my life so that I don’t go down that wrong route again, and I hope that my story might help others,” said Liggitt, who was charged with felony theft and forgery and served 4.5 years in prison.

With the help of YWCA’s Passage Point program, Liggitt has finished her incarceration, earned a degree and received parenting classes and counseling that have helped both her and her 2-year-old daughter, Jayden Wyrick.

Liggitt and local dignitaries, including King County Executive Dow Constantine, spoke at the grand opening of Passage Point in Maple Valley on Thursday.

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King County, YWCA to hold meeting about Passage Point

June 21, 2011

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.

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Schools prepare for children of Passage Point residents

February 22, 2011

With the YWCA’s Passage Point scheduled to open in June, its neighbors in the southern part of the Issaquah School District are working to learn as much as they can about the facility before its inaugural day.

About 10 people came to the YWCA Passage Point Community Open House Feb. 9 at Maple Hills Elementary School, some carrying lists of questions they could ask YWCA representatives, King County project managers and school district administrators.

YWCA Case Manager Miesha Phillips (left) answers questions from Deena Rataezyk, Debra Hawkins and Joanna Hodgson at the Passage Point community open house. By Laura Geggel

Passage Point allows the YWCA to provide housing for men and women recently released from incarceration who wish to reunite with their children. The residents of Passage Point will have access to housing, employment and counseling services.

“It’s going to be geared toward a certain population that wants to change,” YWCA Case Manager Miesha Phillips said.

She and other administrators answered questions about Passage Point’s rules and services.

Deena Rataezyk learned that any Passage Point residents who register to volunteer with the district will have to go through a standard Washington State Patrol background check.

Nick LaCaze asked if teachers were ready to teach children living at Passage Point, given that some of them might need extra support at school, and Rataezyk asked if the schools would have additional mental health resources.

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Former Newcastle city manager will oversee county permitting agency

March 16, 2010

John Starbard

John Starbard — the former Newcastle city manager fired by the City Council in January — will spearhead the effort to reform the way King County handles building and land-use permits.

County Executive Dow Constantine appointed Starbard as director of the Department of Development and Environmental Services six weeks after the Newcastle council abruptly terminated his contract without cause. The executive praised Starbard for efforts to upgrade Coal Creek Parkway and remake downtown Newcastle into a pedestrian-friendly destination.

But officials cited issues with the relationship between Starbard and other organizations and residents. Before the council fired Starbard during a Jan. 12 meeting, Newcastle Deputy Mayor Steve Buri said the relationships had “been damaged beyond repair.” Read more

Passage Point housing project to move forward

January 19, 2010

King County and Cedar Hills Rural Preservation Alliance officials have reached an agreement that will allow the YWCA’s Passage Point project to move forward. Read more

King County, local residents reach settlement to allow Passage Point to move forward

January 15, 2010

UPDATED — 9:25 a.m. Jan. 18, 2010

King County and Cedar Hills Rural Preservation Alliance officials have reached an agreement that will allow YWCA’s Passage Point project to move forward.

The agreement was reached outside the court system and brokered Dec. 29. Details were not released until Wednesday.

The agreement allows for the remodel of the former Cedar Hills Alcohol Treatment Facility, 15900 227th Ave. S.E., into 46 one- and two-bedroom apartments, which will be occupied by men and women recently released from incarceration or hospitalization.

The facility will feature housing, employment and counseling services for men and women who wish to reunite with and act as caregivers to their children.

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Residents briefed about YWCA housing facility

December 8, 2008

Several residents attended a community meeting discussing the pending lawsuit against King County and the new YWCA housing facility Nov. 24 at the King County Library Service Center.

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To The Editor

December 8, 2008

Bikes on the roads

Riders should take the initiative and keep the roads clean themselves

In response to a recent letter from a white-line-riding bicyclist, may I suggest that the precedent set by our industrious local trails club provide an inspiration to the local bicycle clubs — take responsibility for the safety of your riders and the motorists and establish a regular maintenance crew and schedule to keep the road shoulders clean. Read more