Happy Halloween from LASA

9-29-17 A1 Homeless Fundraiser-2
LASA Executive Director Janne Hutchins (front row, left) thanks local sponsors for their support for LASA’s upcoming Murder Mystery Dinner: (front row) Mary Jane Dubbs, CPA; Luda Kravchenko, HomeStreet Bank; Jyll  Meyer WSECU; (back row) Walt Sommers, Lakewood Kiwanis; Joyce Loveday, Clover Park Rotary; Jay Mayer, LASA Board President; and Bill Hagen, Harborstone Credit Union. photo courtesy of lasa

Living Access Support Alliance holds murder mystery fundraiser

By Sarah Barlow
Special to Tacoma Weekly

Friday, Oct. 13 will bring mystery and awareness to the local community with Living Access Support Alliance’s (LASA) 2017 Midnight Masquerade Fundraiser at Clover Park Technical College.

Janne Hutchins, executive director of LASA, said, “We all sat down and brainstormed what we wanted to do, and asked ourselves what is a way we can raise money and still have fun.” It was this thought that led to the 2017 Midnight Masquerade Fundraiser. Tickets are on sale now for $45. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the night includes fun activities like a cake dash, a murder mystery and a choice of prime rib or chicken Wellington for dinner.

Hutchins estimates that this event will raise roughly $8,000 for the LASA organization. This money will either be spread out among all their programs or will go directly to fund LASA’s Family Permanency Project. This program provides 10 units of housing that LASA fills with homeless families of their choice. While they live in this temporary housing, LASA helps them develop a set of skills that allows the families to operate without the need of LASA.

LASA has spent the last 28 years using these resources to not only provide funds for families in need, but also use their specialists to help these families get back on track in their lives. Their theory is that it is easier and less costly to prevent homelessness than to cure it. LASA does this by encouraging families to come to them before they have lost their housing so that they can discuss their situation with someone that can then evaluate their current needs and provide them with the funding needed to make ends meet.

If a family does find themselves on the streets, LASA also provides rapid housing that is a three to nine-month program designed to transition a family from temporary housing into permanent housing. Similar to if a family were to come into LASA before they are on the streets, LASA still provides the family with a Housing Retention Specialist to manage their case to provide them with the support they need to not only get back on their feet but to prevent recurrent homelessness.

Hutchins said, “We have grown and grown in housing, but I believe our future is prevention.” When LASA was founded in 1989, their client service center was only a dream, but now it provides families in need with guidance and necessities including hygiene products, clothes and more.

The funding to host this event and support LASA was sponsored by a variety of local businesses: HomeStreet Bank, Morrison House-Sotheby’s, WA State Employees Credit Union, Mary Jane Dubbs, CPA, Puget Sound Orthopedic, AA Meats, Rainier Lighting & Electrical, Northwest Properties Agency INC., St. Clare Hospital, Clover Park Rotary, Lakewood Kiwanis McClendon’s Hardware and Harold Allen Realty.

With the help from the money raised at the Midnight Masquerade Fundraiser and the support of locals, LASA hopes to continue its mission to remain committed to the prevention of homelessness and recurrent homelessness.

Get tickets to Midnight Masquerade and learn more about LASA at www.lasawa.org.

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