While many of us don’t know first-hand what it is the Lake Stevens Family Center does there are many in our community who cannot imagine what they would do without them, not just their services but the emotional support the staff has given them as they are drudging through some of the toughest times in their life.
Kristine Williams publicly expressed her gratitude to those who took the time to help her and her family when her husband’s construction job took a turn for the worst.
“2010 was a really hard year for our family and if it weren’t for the Lake Stevens Family Center I’m not sure what we would have done,” Williams said. “Someone told us to come to the Lake Stevens Family Center and they would help us and help us they did.”
Twenty years ago Terri Spencer and Joyce Bell knew there was a need for services that could help families in need get back on their feet. At the time much of the burden to help families was placed on the public school system who only could do so much.
“If it weren’t for these wonderful women, we wouldn’t have these programs,” Kathleen Friend, Director of the Lake Stevens Family Center said.
“The real success here is that Kathleen has been able to continue these services,” Terri Spencer said.
The Lake Stevens Family Center was able to come into the community and with the help of many individuals and organizations, they helped people get food, government assistance, help finding jobs and ensure that these families were able to enjoy the holidays including Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The Family Center has gone from helping just dozens of people each year to helping over 6,000 last year.
“We are now finding it so much more important to help within our own community,” Friend said.
The Lake Stevens Family Center celebrated their 20th anniversary with an open house in their small building in downtown Lake Stevens. They have also been an integral part of opening outreach centers in both Granite Falls and Snohomish.