With blessings by Pastor Les Wesley and Elder Irene Fruzetti, along with congratulatory remarks from various national, state and local representatives, Jann Hutchins, Prairie Oaks/LASA coordinator, formally welcomed the large crowd of guests to the afternoon celebration. Living Access Support Assistance’s (LASA) Prairie Oaks was officially opened on July 20.
Created as one step forward in demonstrating “social justice,” this 15-unit housing complex on Gravelly Lake Drive has been designed to accommodate low-income, permanent supportive housing for families experiencing homelessness. It marked its grand opening this past Monday.
Besides housing, Prairie Oaks also is LASA’s services center. This local non-profit organization has provided social services to Lakewood for the past 25 years, most recently after three years of working to find a permanent site for its operations.
Once all the pieces were in place toward building this site it took only “319 days” according to State Rep. Denny Heck, one of the program speakers that afternoon.
The project included assistance from a variety of groups such as the Tacoma Housing Authority, the City of Lakewood, Washington State Department of Commerce and others.
After the official blue ribbon cutting, guests toured the facility with its landscaped grounds, blooming community garden and space for a future play area, and socialized in the boardroom that featured a quilt display.