Parents Connected to Multiple Services at Family Resource Fair
Wellspring and community partners support 93 families in one afternoon
On Saturday, June 11, 2022, Wellspring Family Services hosted the first Family Resource Fair held at our Rainier Avenue location. We transformed the parking lot into a resource center offering rental assistance, job assistance, dental supplies, and other services for families served through our Housing Services program, Family Store, Early Learning Center, as well as from partner agencies.
In addition to learning more about Wellspring’s resources, families visited booths hosted by Nurse Family Partnership, Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, DentistLink, Amazon, Orion Industries, Avalon Bay, Enterprise Holdings, Seattle Public Library, and POCAAN. Free goods and services were offered to all attendees.
According to Bevette Irvis, Wellspring’s Chief Program Officer, “We are grateful to these community partners for helping us provide more resources to families facing or experiencing homelessness. And we’d also like to send our thanks to Lyft who provided rides for the event, and to Safeway, Starbucks, and Trophy Cupcakes for ensuring there were plenty of snacks and beverages on hand.”
Some families came specifically for housing assistance. Others for multiple needs. With permission, we walked alongside one parent, Mary*, as she and her children went from booth to booth. The initial fear in Mary’s voice was soon replaced by confidence as she spoke about her children. She gathered information on jobs for her eldest child who will be turning 18 soon, a few books for her youngest three, and information on obtaining free children’s clothing and essentials from Wellspring’s Family Store. We paused at the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic booth where they were offering vaccines as well as gun safety locks, bike helmets, and toys. Mary’s family was already vaccinated, but she was eyeing some of the other items. As we parted ways, there was something new in Mary’s eyes—a glimmer of hope.
A fair isn’t a fair without some fun. Afternoon activities also included hand painting, balloon animals, and free giveaway tickets. Event emcee and Wellspring Housing Locater Billy Hancock gave away prizes throughout the day. Midway through the event, Billy announced the winning number for a child’s bike and helmet. Before the number was called, Dorothy*, a neighboring resident of Hobson Place, couldn’t help but notice a young boy desperately hoping his mother had the winning ticket. When Dorothy realized she had the winning number, she generously gifted her newly won bike and helmet to the boy who jumped up and down with delight. It was a privilege for all who had the opportunity to witness this moment of kindness and joy.
The June 11 Family Resource Fair was such a success that plans are in the works to host another event in August. Together staff and volunteers assisted at least 315 individuals in 93 families with critical support in the form of:
- 81 evictions prevented
- 21 families moved into new homes
- 2 families provided alternative housing due to dangerous situations
Would you be interested in volunteering or supporting the next Family Resource Fair? Please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Some names have been changed to protect privacy.