'Pet project' named in honor of Mitchell

For the Mirror

Vulnerable people were Maryann Mitchell’s passion.

And next Wednesday at 11 a.m., a low-income senior housing facility that her efforts made possible will be dedicated in memory of the late state legislator.

Mitchell Place, a project of south King County’s Multi-Service Center, offers 50 one and two-bedroom apartments to seniors 62 and over whose incomes are at 40 percent of median income. The housing is at 1001 S. 336h St., across from the center in Federal Way.

Unlike many comparatively drab low-income housing projects, Mitchell Place has bright and open common areas, officials said. A large second-story deck, community rooms with kitchens, and a computer lab where residents can go on-line and get e-mail are featured. Outside, raised garden beds are available for growing flowers and vegetables, and a greenhouse is climate-controlled year-round.

Each apartment has a full kitchen with stove and refrigerator, walk-in clothing and linen closets, and access to public and facility bus transportation.

Multi-Service Center officials said that among the many legacies left by Mitchell, who died Dec. 28, is the housing trust fund that will provide the financing for housing needs of disabled and low-income individuals in Washington.

Mitchell, who was a state representative from Federal Way’s 30th District, “was a friend to so many of us in this community,” commented Dini Duclos, the center’s chief executive officer and an advocate for senior housing assistance. “We are proud to remember her legacy with the naming of this building. It will always remind us of what one person can accomplish in a lifetime.”

Originally named Glenwood Place, Duclos asked Mitchell if it could be renamed for her after she became ill. Mitchell agreed.

“It was one of her pet projects,” said Nancy Hohenstein, Multi-Service Center’s director of community relations.

Mayor Jeanne Burbidge will give the city’s welcome to Mitchell Place at a public ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for 11 a.m. next Wednesday, followed by a King County Council proclamation from Councilman Pete von Reichbauer and public tours between 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Refreshments will be served throughout the day.

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