In line with our goal to expand affordable housing, bring child care development centers and other social services to the Federal Way area, El Centro de la Raza has purchased Pattison’s West Skating Center. We have lovingly named it El Centro Skate Rink. We thought it important to link our entity, El Centro, to the space, and to keep Rink in the name to continue to welcome people in the skating community!
Pattison’s West Skating Rink was slated to close, but El Centro de la Raza, which already has an office at the site, bought the venue because of the positive impact it has in the community.
“The rink brings the community and families together and creates jobs for area youth, so we saw it as an essential piece of our plans,” said Estela Ortega, executive director of El Centro de la Raza. “It is not just about the community center and affordable housing. The rink is a local cultural fixture that we see as part of our overall efforts to bring services to the area.”
Ortega stressed that the development in Federal Way will support all small businesses to set up shop at the location. Plans also include social services and the development of a mercado, or market, for small businesses and entrepreneurs to sell their products.
The complex will be built in phases, which will include construction of a total of 208 affordable housing units. The community center will include youth services and space for artists. It is located at the intersection of Pacific Highway South and 16th Ave. S.
Funding for the development is expected to come from the state of Washington, federal funds, a loan from the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, and other sources. Construction is expected to begin in 2025.
The Federal Way project is not the first large project El Centro de la Raza has undertaken. Plaza Maestas, a mixed-use building in Seattle containing 112 affordable housing units, an early learning, and office and retail space, was built in 2016.
The organization is also getting close to completing fundraising for another affordable housing development in Columbia City. That $58-million, family-oriented building will have 87 apartments, most of which will be two-and three-bedroom units. It will also provide community services and will have murals by local artists.
“Affordable housing development is new to community-based organizations and communities of color,” Ortega said. “When community-based organizations develop affordable housing and services, it creates stability for the organizations, communities, and other good things begin to happen.”
Our Cedar Crossing Development Continues
We are currently building our team at our Jose Marti Child Development Center and are pleased to share updated photos of the 6,443 sf. multi-cultural, bilingual affordable child development center we are developing on site, with capacity to serve 68 children at Cedar Crossing!
We were able to expand our offering to the area through the generous support of our donors, the City of Seattle Human Services Department, the State of Washington Department of Commerce, and the Washington Community Reinvestment Association.
We could not do this without you all, mil gracias!
Grand opening of Si Se Puede Academy on October 27
El Centro de la Raza is excited and open their doors to the Si Se Puede Academy in Federal Way!
This program will provide youth between the ages of 18 and 21 years of age who have not completed their secondary education a pathway to obtain their GED certification. Without your support, we could not have launched this initiative, and we would love to celebrate this feat with you at our grand opening!
El Centro De La Raza seeks to provide a culturally affirming track toward GED completion. Centering representative curriculum facilitated by staff who reflect those served and provides pre-apprentice and post-secondary options.
Si Se Puede Academy will implement holistic strategies to ensure completion and place ‘jovenes’ on a path towards meaningful careers with livable wages.
RSVP on our Facebook Event Page here: https://fb.me/e/307EWmgWi
Celebrating 50 years of Building the Beloved Community
Mil gracias for those who gathered with us to celebrate 50 years of El Centro de la Raza with us on October 8th. It was beautiful to be able to gather with so many of you again, and to see some of you even tuning in virtually – what a joyous occasion it was!
We raised over $560,000 for vital programs and services that improve the lives of more than 22,000 individuals and families across our region. Proceeds from the gala will strengthen and grow our work, which includes feeding the hungry, helping a family make rent, empowering students to graduate from high school and attend college, and supporting our immigrant community.
Attendees heard inspiring words from Governor Inslee and Thomas Saenz from MALDEF and joined us in honoring so many others who have helped make El Centro de la Raza the space we know and love. Congratulations again to our Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award and Scholarship recipients. Each of them embody the spirit of “Beloved Community,” and are on working building multi-racial unity and advocating for communities of color and immigrants through their social justice work.