Volunteer leaders in the Issaquah area have worked since 2006 to develop a human services campus to serve the Issaquah area. Modeled after Together Center, the Issaquah campus would be a one-stop human services facility where multiple service providers would be co-located, greatly increasing the access to services. Together Center has worked to advance the Issaquah project since the effort was launched.
The effort received a tremendous boost 2008 when the City of Issaquah directed that one million dollars it received for affordable housing mitigation from a local developer could be used for developing a human services campus. In 2009, a key informant study of sixty community leaders confirmed the view that services are needed in the Issaquah area and that there is community support for the project. Together Center then partnered with University of Washington graduate students to evaluate Issaquah real estate issues before planning a feasibility study.
Last year Together Center worked with The NonprofitCenters Network to develop a feasibility study for the project, an effort funded by the City of Issaquah. The study was completed in the fall and had its first public debut in March of this year. The Conclusion: A human services campus for Issaquah is feasible under a variety of scenarios, according to the study.
Project co-chair and Together Center Board Member John Rittenhouse shared the presentation with Together Center’s Executive Director Pam Mauk to the Issaquah City Council. The Council Chambers were filled with interested nonprofit agency leaders representing Encompass, HealthPoint, Hopelink, Issaquah Community Network, Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank, Issaquah Human Services Commission, and Life Enrichment Options, and those representing King County Council Member Kathy Lambert, King County and the King County Veteran’s and Human Services Levy.
Together Center focused its work on community needs and project service area and contracted with The NonprofitCenters Network, experts in multi-tenant nonprofit centers, to survey agencies, analyze property and governance and give recommendations. John Rittenhouse reported, “Under all scenarios a campus is do-able in Issaquah. The study stated: There is an exciting opportunity in Issaquah to meet growing community needs in a synergistic and efficient nonprofit center.”
Read more about the Issaquah project: