A Resource Fair for people who are struggling to survive was held Oct. 19 at the Federal Way Library and will continue every first and third Thursday through December 2023.
The Federal Way Library is located at 34200 1st Way South and the resource event is a collaborative effort between the Federal Way Library, Federal Way Municipal Court and community partners.
Nikky Navarro is a community resource navigator who contracts with King County to connect people to the resources they need. She said these types of events can help highlight what is available — and also shows the gaps in the systems that provide service.
She said that while there might be a resource available in the community, sometimes the supply pales in comparison to the demand. Resource fairs and navigators can help identify these gaps.
“When you see long lines, you know there are needs that are not being addressed,” she told The Mirror.
Ohu Kane is the South King Transportation Coordinator for Hopelink. She said she had already been able to help several people, and told The Mirror: “I had someone who has several interviews this week. Hopefully this will get him to a couple at least!” On her table she had a variety of transportation resources and was giving out ORCA passes loaded with $20 along with paper bus tickets too.
“Someone can walk in here with nothing and leave with a phone, go to Orion for a job, get an ORCA card, sign up for MAT with me, clothes over there,” said Brittany Ludington, Peer Outreach Specialist for Ideal Option.
MAT refers to Medicated-Assisted Treatment, which is the use of FDA-approved medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorder, according to the Ideal Option website: “Research shows that a combination of medication and behavioral therapy can successfully treat these disorders, and for people struggling with addiction, MAT can help sustain recovery.”
MAT is one of the services that resource fair attendees could sign up for with Ludington at her table.
“Having all these resources in one place just makes it so much more accessible,” Ludington added and explained how challenging it can be for someone who is in crisis to seek out these types of resources in individual trips around the city.
Community organizations may change weekly, but those represented at the last fair included:
• El Centro De La Raza, specifically the Si Se Puede Academy
• Nurse Sonja from HealthPoint
• Community Health Plan of Washington
• Ideal Option
• Federal Way Community Caregiving
• Recovery Navigator Program
• Multi-Service Center