Friday, May 29, 2009

Updated Wish List for Spring

New Wish Lists have been uploaded for the last month of school and to serve families throughout the summer.

Our Top Needs and Downloadable wish lists can be found here.

Our Development Team also has their minds on next fall for Back to School! We are looking for individuals, clubs, schools, PTA groups, churches and everything in between to consider hosting a donation drive for First Place for Back to School.

Contact Melissa Collett (206-323-6715 or mcollett [at] if you are interested!

Friday, May 22, 2009

In the News: Recent Articles of Interest

There have been a quite a few articles lately that we want to share.

From USA Today: School caters to homeless children.
Mustard Seed School in Sacramento caters to children ages 3 to 15 - providing educational services for about a month before a child transfers into public school. First Place started as a similar stop-gap program but over 20 years has grown to enrolling an entire family for up to three years. We are always happy to see similar programs!

From the Washington Post: Poor? Pay up.
This article explains the high costs of poverty and why you have to be rich to be poor. If you keep up with us on Twitter we posted this link a few days ago.

From Seattle Weekly blog: Affordable Housing Going Up in Central District--If It Can Get Its Parking Approved.
Anytime housing for families with children, homeless and low-income households is available it's a great thing. In his post Seattle Weekly blogger Damon Agnos questions why parking is needed at a housing facility for homeless and low-income families. First Place invites anyone with this question to come down for a tour to see why a homeless family would have a car but no home. We host tours every Friday at 11am. Sign up online.

Besides that, 51 units of housing for families is excellent news!

Look For Us At Sasquatch Music Festival

Our friends at Bands Without Borders will once again be handing out First Place information at Sasquatch Music Festival.

Janine from Bands Without Borders stopped by and we loaded her up with a tent, postcards, and some kid art from our After School Program.

If you are in a band who wants to support First Place this year, you can do that through Bands Without Borders. Here are the instructions from their website:

1 > Join the Bands Only email list via google groups
2 > Join the Facebook group (just search for it)
3 > Post an e-flyer (download from BWB website) on your website or myspace
4 > Agree to do 1 benefit concert per year for BWB or a partner nonprofit (such as First Place, Water 1st, etc.)
5 > Announce BWB to your email list & facebook friends
6 >
Email us and let us know you've done 1-5. DONE!

We want to add a few more instructions to their list, such as:

7 > Become a Fan of First Place on Facebook
8 > Follow First Place on Twitter!

Thank you Bands Without Borders!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

High School Auction - New Date!

The students at Big Picture High School have changed the date of their Big Auction! It is now May 29, 2009 at 6:30pm.

The community is invited to attend the event which will be held at Big Picture High School, 2450 S. 142nd St., SeaTac,WA 98168.

The event includes a live and silent auction featuring items such as a brew tour at Elliot Bay Brewhouse and one night at any Kimpton Hotel.

There will be a $5.00 door fee that will help raise money for First Place. RSVP with the number of guests by emailing Josh at

First Place hopes you can make it out to this event! Thank you to the students at Big Picture High School for working so hard on our behalf!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Picture Slideshow from Annual Breakfast

First Place Annual Fundraising Breakfast was April 29, 2009 at the Westin Hotel in Downtown Seattle. The event featured Linda Byron from KING5 News, Dr. Leon "Skip" Rowland, Executive Director of the Urban Enterprise Center at the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Tod Leiweke, CEO of Vulcan Sports and Entertainment, Dr. Doreen Cato Executive Director of First Place, and two very special students, Ifrah and Marcelus.

View the Slideshow -- Photos by Ben VanHouten of VanHouten Photography.

If you missed the event you can still make a donation through our Virtual Table page.

Thank you to the event committee, staff, event coordinators and board members who helped plan the event.

Thank You to our Sponsors:
Presenting Sponsor:Leadership Sponsor: Pepsi Starbucks Partnership

Table Sponsors:
The Boeing Company, Brettler Family Foundation, Safeco Insurance, Seattle Children’s, Western Union and Antioch University Seattle.

Seahawks/Sounders FC Challenge Match Donors: Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders FC, Tom and Sonya Campion, Lucky Seven Foundation and Wells Fargo.

Special Thank You: Sound Mental Health, Print Solutions and Consulting, Julie Gauntt, Seattle Westin, The Beta Society, and VanHouten Photography.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

High School Auction to Benefit First Place

The students at Big Picture High School invite you to join them at a Benefit Auction for First Place this Friday, May 15, 2009.

The community is invited to attend the event which is Friday, May 15, 2009 at 7pm at Big Picture High School, 2450 S. 142nd St., SeaTac,WA 98168. There is no cost to attend and no reservation required.

Thank You to the students at Big Picture High School for planning this event and for choosing to support First Place!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Seattle Channel Features First Place Panel Discussion

On April 29, 2009, immediately following the First Place Annual Fundraising Breakfast, we hosted a panel discussion featuring local individuals and businesses making big change toward ending homelessness.

The panel featured:
We are excited to share with you that the Seattle Channel filmed the discussion as part of its Town Square program. Watch it online right now, or on TV the following dates and times:

Seattle Channel 21:
Thursday, May 14, 2009 5:00 p.m.
Monday, May 18, 2009 6:00 a.m.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009 2:30 a.m.
Thursday, May 21, 2009 4:30 p.m.
First Place hosted this panel as way to further engage individual and businesses in getting involved in ending homelessness. We hope when you watch this, you will be inspired to find a way to get your business or organization involved in social change.

Panel attendees received a packet of information to take home with them, which included facts on homelessness, a 'Take Action' sheet, a copy of the Washington State Report Card on Family Homelessness and a few other informational papers. If you are interested in a copy of this packet, contact Chris Cooper, Director of Marketing and Development at 206-323-6715 ext. 1301.

Over the next few weeks we want to feature a few companies on our blog that do some creative fundraising for First Place. First on our list to share is Car Toys.

Beat the CFO! The employees of Car Toys have a long-standing tradition of supporting the many vital programs of First Place. Every fall Car Toys employees break out of the office for their annual stress reliever "beat the CFO". For a small donation to First Place employees compete against the CFO in a high-tech virtual golf game, or in years past have taken their chance at hitting a target to dunk the CFO in a less than warm pool. Car Toys CFO Robert Jensen continues to take his dedication to ending family homelessness to a new level. “Keep up the great work,” Jensen tells us, “and we will keep coming up with other ways to help.”

Thank you to the Seattle Channel, our panelists and companies like Car Toys!

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Music Project Foundation comes to First Place!

The Music Project Foundation is a local organization that ties the study of music with a performance experience to create a unique program that empowers students. This school year they have working hard raising extra funds to bring their program to First Place to work with our students at no charge to First Place.

In order to fund their work with First Place they are hosting a fundraiser on May 26, 2009 featuring a few music icons such as Sonny Turner of The Platters, Theo Peoples of The Four Tops, Sanjaya Malakar, a former American Idol contestant and Bernadette Bascom.
First Place is excited and thankful for the opportunity to work The Music Project Foundation and the talented musicians who are working with our students.

We know this fundraiser will be a great success!

Join us at "A Vegas Evening"
Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at the Triple Door

Tickets: $50 per Person
VIP Tickets: $150 per Person
VIP Tickets Include: Private Reception w/the Stars, Hors D’oeuvres, Hosted Bar & 1 Drink Ticket, and Premier Seating

Purchase Tickets Online
by Phone: 206-838-4333
In Person: triple Door Box Office 216 Union St., Seattle

View the event flier (pdf).
Learn more The Music Project Foundation

Friday, May 1, 2009

Keeping Students Healthy

With the recent school closings due to Swine Flu (H1N1 flu) First Place wanted to share with you what we are doing here in our building to make sure everyone is safe and healthy.

We sent a letter home with every student on April 30, 2009 along with two attachments -- the Homeless Health News from the Heath Care for the Homeless Network and also the Preparing for Pandemic Influenza Family Guide from the Washington State Department of Health. Because of the unique nature of our school, the teachers, case managers, nurse and school psychologist are in constant dialogue about the health of our students.

Students experiencing symptoms are being referred to the nurse and sent home from school. We are keeping up on our regular practices of washing hands regularly, using hand sanitizer and keeping school surfaces clean.

For 20 years First Place has been working with Health Care for the Homeless, Odessa Brown Children's Clinic and Seattle Children's to take care of the health needs of the children who attend school at First Place. Through this partnership First Place has access to a nurse Monday through Friday and provides us with a nurse on-site three days a week year-round.

The staff is keeping updated through multiple sources and this is a top concern at the agency.

If anyone has any concerns about what First Place is doing to prevent our school from closing, please call Chris Cooper at (206) 323-6715 ext. 1301.