Lacey will provide funds to help adult teenagers

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A long-standing plan to fund a home and services to stabilize the lives of four adult teenagers is finally coming to fruition, according to a briefing received by Lacey City Council earlier this month.

A long-standing plan to fund a home and services to stabilize the lives of four adult teenagers is finally coming to fruition, according to a briefing received by Lacey City Council earlier this month.

Rolf Bone

A long-standing plan to fund a home and services to stabilize the lives of four adult teenagers is finally coming to fruition, according to a briefing received by Lacey City Council earlier this month.

After the briefing, City Manager Scott Spence was expected to finalize a memorandum of understanding with two other partners: Homes First and the Community Action Council.

The city is willing to allocate $260,000 to $150,000 to purchase or renovate a single-family home and $110,000 for a part-time clerk who would assist residents.

Specifically, the residents are said to be four unaccompanied female youth, ages 18 to 25, who live in the home and are working toward receiving their high school diploma or GED.

Homes First, a Lacey-based nonprofit and affordable housing provider, would also provide $200,000 toward the purchase or renovation of the residence.

Lacey Mayor Andy Ryder acknowledged that the town has been talking about Genesis House for some time.

“This has taken a few turns over the years,” he said.

It began in 2018 when St. Mark Lutheran Church received a $200,000 grant from the state Department of Commerce to build tiny homes for students affected by homelessness, according to the city.

However, the church decided not to go ahead with the project.

Homes First later worked with the state to transition the grant from building tiny homes to buying or renovating a single family home.

Councilor Lenny Greenstein asked how many people Genesis House would help.

The idea is that once these four receive their diplomas, they could move on and others could use the home, although the timing for all of that is still unknown, assistant city manager Shannon Kelley-Fong, who built the Genesis home, said at the presentation in the municipal council.

“I am very pleased that this is making noticeable progress,” said City Councilor Robin Vazquez.

Rolf has been with The Olympian since August 2005. He covers breaking news, the town of Lacey and business for the newspaper. Rolf graduated from Evergreen State College in 1990.

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