INDIVIDUAL: Roslyn Sterling, Totes for Kids
Roslyn works for the Attorney General’s Office and represents Everett Community College on their Board of Trustees. She saw a need and worked outside her own career to address this need in a powerful way. Roslyn started Totes for Kids to ensure foster children end up with what they need—a toothbrush, clean clothes, a backpack—as they launch to their next destination. She has worked to create this non-profit on the side, outside the intense responsibilities she has in her daily work at the ATG office. The path was not simple or immediate. but her tenaciousness has given many children bags of confidence as they enter into situations many of us cannot even imagine. Learn more at totesforkids.com
COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION Arlington Community Resource Center
Prior to the Oso landslide, the growing Arlington community did not have any central social services support or resource agency. Growing awareness after the mudslide of the effects of poverty, lack of access to health care and transportation, led 50 local leaders in the Arlington community to establish a family resource center. Opened just two years ago, the center has had a very positive impact on the Arlington community and its residents. With a small staff and small army of volunteers, they are consistently addressing the needs of the community, including housing and health access services, opioid addiction, mental health, jobs, and workforce training. The impact on community health is impressive. Follow them at facebook.com/ArlingtonCRC.
CORNERSTONE ORGANIZATION: Volunteers of America
The availability of affordable housing has long been scarce for those who need it most has long been scarce. Adding to that, housing discrimination is real. VOA saw a need to provide education to renters looking for housing in the public or private rental market. Often, people do not know or understand their rights and what protection they actually have. Through the Dispute Resolution Center, VOA provides renter certification training to bring all of these together in one, two-hour session. Renters walk away with a training certificate to present to prospective landlords, and information and tools to confidently search for a new rental or enhance their existing rental situation.
VOA’s training model is succinct, accessible and results in something tangible—a certificate and/or rental resumé that demonstrates the participant has done their homework. In a highly competitive rental market, this can make a huge difference. The more renters who participate in education around Fair Housing, the greater strength and confidence renters have as they navigate the housing market. The Dispute Resolution Center through VOA provides a solid training ground to gain that confidence. Visit them at voa.org.