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Rotary gives thousands for homelessness prevention
By NATALIE MARTIN
Last week homelessness prevention efforts on the island got a boost when Vashon Youth & Family Services (VYFS) and the Interfaith Council to Prevent Homelessness (IFCH) garnered a $10,000 Rotary grant to be split between the two nonprofits.
Vashon’s local Rotary club secured the grant, which is funded with $2,500 from the Vashon Rotary and $5,000 from the regional Rotary district, district 5030. VYFS and the Interfaith Council each put up $1,250 in matching funds.
The grant is especially welcome for VYFS, which recently lost an $80,000 annual grant from King County that has sustained its basic needs program, Viva, in recent years. A $10,000 allocation in the King County budget only filled a portion of the funding gap.
VYFS, through Viva, regularly partners with IFCH to serve Vashon’s small homeless population and to help families at risk of becoming homeless. Funds from the Rotary grant are aimed at families with children and will be used to help local families cover costs such as rent, bills, health care needs and transportation expenses during hard times.
“Whatever it is a family needs to keep them in a home or get them in a home,” said Nancy Vanderpool, an IFCH volunteer.
“It takes all of us,” said Kathleen Johnson, executive director of VYFS. “We each got separate checks, but this means we will be able to collaborate and work together every step of the way.”