See the Seattle Storm, help YWCA celebrate milestone

August 25, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 25, 2011

See the Seattle Storm face the Tulsa Shock — and support YWCA of Seattle-King-Snohomish.

The reigning champion Storm plays the Shock at 7 p.m. Thursday at Seattle’s KeyArena.

The celebration comes as the nonprofit organization surpasses the halfway mark in the $26.5 million Women Empowered Community Campaign, a fundraising effort to provide services for women and families.

Funds from the campaign helped build YWCA Family Village at Issaquah, a 146-unit complex in the Issaquah Highlands. Residents started settling in during late spring.

So, the YWCA is inviting people to the Storm game for a chance to celebrate. Tickets cost $6 and the YWCA is providing snacks. Order the discounted tickets at the YWCA website.

Game attendees can also go down on the court and be a part of the fan tunnel cheering the players.

Voters overwhelmingly renew Veterans and Human Services Levy

August 23, 2011

The popular Veterans and Human Services Levy garnered overwhelming support from King County voters Aug. 16, as the electorate renewed the measure through 2017.

The levy is expected to generate about $100 million for programs to aid veterans and needy residents. The funding is split 50-50 between veterans programs and human services efforts.

“The citizens of King County have demonstrated their respect for our veterans and compassion for our neighbors most in need by voting to renew the Veterans and Human Services Levy,” County Executive Dow Constantine, a levy supporter, said in a statement late Aug. 16.

“I thank the voters for approving the levy and showing, once again, that King County is an extraordinary community in which to live.”

The measure, Proposition 1, garnered more than 60 percent of the vote in the initial results King County Elections released last week. The elections office is due to certify the results Aug. 31.

The measure garnered broad support from human services organizations and advocates for veterans. The county Voters’ Guide, in fact, did not include any statements opposing Proposition 1. Even the County Council put the measure on the ballot in a unanimous decision.

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Veterans and Human Services Levy appears certain to pass

August 16, 2011

NEW — 8:16 p.m. Aug. 16, 2011

King County voters offered strong support Tuesday for renewing the county Veterans and Human Services Levy until 2017.

The measure, Proposition 1, garnered 66 percent of the vote in the initial round of results King County Elections released just after 8 p.m.

The figure is expected to shift in the coming days as the elections office receives and counts more ballots, but the measure appears certain to pass. The initial tally released Tuesday night encompassed 208,833 ballots.

The levy renewal is projected to generate $100 million through 2017. The funding is split 50-50 among programs for veterans and the neediest residents in King County.

The electorate approved the initial Veterans and Human Services Levy — 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value — to fund programs for veterans and social service efforts in 2005. The existing levy is due to expire Dec. 31.

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YWCA Family Village at Issaquah opens

August 16, 2011

Lizzie Webb stands aside the railing to top-floor residences at her apartment building looking over the YWCA Family Village at Issaquah and a view of Squak and Cougar mountains. By Greg Farrar

The airy apartment on the top floor at YWCA Family Village at Issaquah, a long-planned affordable housing complex, is a refuge for Lizzie Webb.

The longtime Issaquah resident relocated to the complex before anyone else, in late May, and created a sanctuary from domestic abuse in the cozy space.

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Voters to decide King County veterans-and-human-services levy

August 9, 2011

Measure funds Issaquah programs for teenagers, parents

King County voters decide the future of a county veterans-and-human-services levy soon, and as Election Day nears, recipients of levy dollars demonstrated how the measure impacts Issaquah and other communities.

The electorate approved the initial veterans-and-human-services levy — 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value — to fund programs for veterans and social service efforts in 2005. The measure, Proposition 1, is up for renewal on the Aug. 16 ballot.

If passed, the levy renewal is projected to generate $100 million through 2017. The funding is split 50-50 among programs for veterans and the neediest residents in King County.

Proposition 1 matches the existing levy and does not include additional taxes. The owner of a home assessed at $340,000 is expected to pay $17 in 2012 if the levy is renewed. (The existing levy is due to expire Dec. 31.)

Proposition 1 receives broad support from human services organizations and advocates for veterans. The measure received unanimous support on the often-contentious council. The county Voters’ Guide does not include any statements against Proposition 1.

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Press Editorial

August 9, 2011

Vote yes — again — for Proposition 1

Feeling charitable to those who have no job, are living on the streets or need parenting education? King County has made it easy to help, but first you need to get out your ballot and agree to continue Proposition 1, the veterans-and-human-services levy. The owner of a $400,000 home will be donating $20 per year, via their property taxes, if the ballot measure passes.

The levy was first approved in 2005. To the County Council’s credit, voters are asked only to approve the same amount, at 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, although the case could certainly have been made for more, knowing that the need is greater than ever.

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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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Tour Passage Point residences at opening ceremony Thursday

July 6, 2011

NEW — 5 p.m. July 6, 2011

Before the first residents make Passage Point their new home this summer, the YWCA invites the public to view the facility during its grand opening Thursday.

YWCA Passage Point is a residential community near Issaquah for single parents emerging from the corrections system. With its 46 housing units and comprehensive services, Passage Point will empower residents, mostly mothers, to reunite with their children in a stable environment, helping them along a path toward self sufficiency.

“I honestly do not know where my daughter and I would be if not for YWCA Passage Point,” Cynthia Liggett, a Passage Point reunification program participant, said in a news release. “Through this program, I have learned how to become more confident in my parenting skills and know I can use my past experience as a stepping stone to success.”

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Passage Point invites the public to grand opening

June 28, 2011

After years of planning, YWCA Passage Point will open its doors for a public viewing at 10:30 a.m. July 7.

YWCA Passage Point, 15900 227th Ave. S.E., Maple Valley, is a residential community for single parents emerging from the corrections system. With its 46 housing units and comprehensive services, Passage Point will empower residents, mostly mothers, to reunite with their children in a stable environment, helping them along a path toward self sufficiency.

Several local dignitaries, including King County Executive Dow Constantine; Washington State Department of Corrections Secretary Eldon Vail; and Cynthia Liggett, a former inmate, single parent and Passage Point program participant; will speak at the grand opening.

RSVP by emailing Shoko Toyama at stoyama@ywcaworks.org.

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