By Janne Hutchins
The Lakewood Area Shelter Association (LASA) was given a $10,000 check by the Puyallup Tribe of Indians towards the purchase a van. Thank you.
LASA needs the van to help the homeless families they provide housing to with donated furnishings. Every year LASA provides housing to approximately 70 to 75 families. Families can stay anywhere from 90 days to two years depending on which program they are in. Families are provided housing, utilities, furnishings and most importantly case management services. The Case Manager works with the family in designing a Housing Stability Plan to help them overcome the obstacles that led them to become homeless. “Many of the families come to us with very few belongings that they can usually carry in a bag or two and need everything to make a house a home” states Michelle Smith Case Manager for LASA .
Over the last ten to twenty years LASA staff have gone through 2 or 3 personal cars each and called on their husbands countless times to bring their trucks to help move furniture. Executive Director Janne Hutchins said, “We are looking at providing the van along with a LASA designated driver and asking the family to help provide the manpower”. “The need in the community is growing and we need to start working smarter not harder.”
The $10,000 gift will be banked while the agency looks to raise $15,000 additional funds to purchase a van. LASA is writing local civic clubs and asking them for gifts of between $2,500 to $5,000 to complete the purchase. Sponsoring agencies will have the name of their business on the van. If you have an interest in helping with this project, please call Janne Hutchins at 253 581-8689.