After over a year of searching for a new home, Renton Ecumenical Association of Churches (REACH) Center of Hope that supports homeless women and families will be relocated from the basement of Renton City Hall to West Hill.
The center is partnering with Lakeridge Lutheran Church to remodel a permanent home on the lower floor of the church by late November. A local contractor, J. Jensen Enterprises, that remodeled the city hall space will also be renovating the church space.
REACH has operated the Center of Hope day shelter in city hall since 2013, separating it from its feeding program which is for all homeless neighbors at the old Renton Chamber of Commerce building at Renton Municipal Airport. The city announced in 2019 that both REACH’s meal coalition and the city’s emergency weather shelter would need to relocate from the old chamber building, as it didn’t comply with Federal Aviation Administration’s use of airport buildings.
REACH Executive Director Bianca Davis-Lovelace spoke to Renton Reporter in December 2019, and said they had always known they needed to find a more permanent location that would be able to support all of their services.
Lakeridge Lutheran Church has been in West Hill, at a Seattle address, area since 1945 and shared its space as a community resource over the years.
The new location will have 365 days a year, 24/7 services, including laundry, showers, meals and social services, for the family shelter clients.
In a newsletter, REACH also said this new location helps them “provide better comfort, dignity, and access to services for clients,” and allow for safety precautions to be easier during the COVID-19 pandemic, and expected to overall increase success in clients find stable housing.
More information on REACH can be found at reachrenton.org.