The Renton Ecumenical Association of Churches (REACH) is awarded the 2013 Gertrude Apel Pioneering Spirit Award - Organization for their lived ecumenical vision, their practice of accompaniment values and their pioneering spirit in the City of Renton
Started in the 1970’s, REACH is a community of local churches and partner agencies that work together to help all members of the Renton community to have what they need to be safe and well.
REACH practices accompaniment values in how they pursue their mission work – especially in the areas of network building, resource sharing, and expertise recognizing. As they say so well, “We operate out of the conviction that all people have incredible gifts, and that we have a better chance at wholeness when these diverse gifts are nurtured and offered for the good of the world.” They most certainly do!
For over a year, REACH has been working on bringing churches and service providers together to find a way to support women and their children as they find their way back to stable housing. The dream came to fruition in May, 2013, when the two-part Center of Hope opened. The Center of Hope consists of a day center housed in the renovated and converted former jail in the basement of Renton City Hall, and emergency overnight accommodations in local congregations. The day center provides breakfast, lunch, laundry facilities, showers, mail, computer and phone access, case management, vocational resources, connection to community resources and caring support.
Learn more about REACH and the Center of Hope at www.reachrenton.org.