A presentation and discussion on the results of a Needs Assessment conducted this spring by the University of Washington-Tacoma Nursing and Healthcare Leadership Program is taking place at LASA on Mon, August 22 at 5:30 PM. LASA is located at 8956 Gravelly Lake Dr SW in Lakewood.
The presentation will showcase the results of the assessment of almost 50 individuals queried by the nursing students. The discussion will include: What are the needs of the most vulnerable populations in Lakewood? What can we do to meet those needs?
Early last Spring, LASA’s Executive Director, Janne Hutchins, along with Erin Devereaux completing her Master’s Degree from the University of Indiana and interning with LASA, met with Kim Morrison from MDC to talk about starting a laundry and shower program much like that offered by MDC in downtown Tacoma. Morrison suggested LASA speak to the UWT, known for conducting assessments of interesting community situations. LASA’s project was chosen and the UWT nursing students moved forward by reaching out to those on the street in Lakewood they came in contact with.
The agency has provided housing to families experiencing homelessness for over 25 years and also offers prevention services such as rental and utility assistance depending on funding. LASA recently opened a new 4,000 Sq ft Client Services Center in the middle of Lakewood. “We want to expand to meet the needs of our community and we see a growing number of people on the street who have very basic needs” said Hutchins and added “We have limited space and resources so we want to be very thoughtful as to the services we offer”.
LASA Board member and Caring for Kids founder/executive director Diane Formoso added ” I am excited about the direction we are going. Washers, dryers and a shower are so important to the community we serve. Caring for Kids and LASA have worked together for years and we see every day the need in the community. In May, Clover Park School District alone had 8,898 kids on free and reduced lunch which is an indicator of the need”
This is where the University of Washington-Tacoma Nursing and Healthcare Leadership Program came in. After consulting with Corrie Matlock-Hightower, RN, MN/Clinical Placement Coordinator, the plan was made to speak to individuals congregating around the library, city hall and city center. Stated Matlock-Hightower “In nursing, care of a population or individual always begins with assessment of the needs of the population or individual(s). By having the students assess the needs of the homeless community in Lakewood, we were hopefully assisting in future delivery of care and services”.
This resulted in surveying almost 50 individuals and the meeting next Monday will highlight the findings. LASA was started 26 years ago by 15 Lakewood houses of worship concerned with the growing number of families living on the edge of poverty. The agency has won awards for its services and outstanding volunteers. LASA’s mission is to prevent homelessness and recurrent homelessness.
If you are interested, come to the meeting. Please RSVP to 253 581-8689. Space is limited.