ACAP Child and Family Services has been on the equivalent of Mr. Toad’s wild ride since learning three years ago it would have to move from its longtime home in Les Gove Park to provide room for the future Auburn Community Center.
Things looked up when the White River Presbyterian Church opened up its education wing to the agency. ACAP and its supporters did all the renovations necessary to make the wing acceptable to state and local agencies as a daycare, no small or cheap task.
Then, in November 2009, White River Presbyterian Church folded.
The Pyung An Presbyterian Church that subsequently moved into the church building is in the process of purchasing it from the Seattle Presbytery, and the 450-member plus and growing congregation will need the education wing that ACAP occupies.
ACAP’s lease had been set to expire Jan. 31, 201, but the Pyung An congregation and the Presbytery graciously granted it an extension to July 1, 2011 to allow it time to find a new home.
ACAP used that time wisely.
First United Methodist Church, one of the founding churches 41 years ago, has offered the agency a permanent home in its Christian education wing. And not only are ACAP’s wandering days over, its days as a stand-alone agency are, too. Auburn Youth Resources (AYR) has agreed to partner with ACAP, making it one of its many youth programs.
“I am going to gush,” said a very excited Donna Dussault-Walker, executive director of ACAP. “We’re elated, we’re over the top with joy at how this all came together.”
Brad Beeman, senior pastor at First United Methodist Church, called the move “kind of a coming back home again. This church was part of the group that started ACAP in the first place. We’re also thrilled just to be able to open our arms wide to these kids and these families.”
AYR’s Executive Director Jim Blanchard was meticulous in researching ACAP.
“We pored over their financial statements to make sure they were a good financial risk,” Blanchard said. “It’s a great alliance between Auburn Youth Resources and ACAP. We’ve worked together for years. This will solidify our cooperative relations and strengthen the services of our community for young kids who really need it.”
Said Dussault-Walker: “You are talking about Auburn Youth Resources, an agency that is ensconced in our community, doing amazing work for the needy and for the homeless and providing counseling support for families. It is going be an amazing counseling resource for us. We will be able to provide families more of a one-stop agency, where we can meet more of the needs that they have.”
Fixing up the new place will not come cheap. ACAP will have to provide an additional exit out of one room to meet state codes. Both playgrounds must be redone. All the fencing will have to be rebuilt to meet Early Learning codes. An ADA approved bathroom will be required the toddler room.
Dussault-Walker said she doesn’t have the hard cost figures yet but expects to soon.
She thanked everybody who helped bring this about.
“My predecessor, Largo Wales, and our board of directors did amazing work, and I truly mean this, just keeping the agency solvent from the move to White River and to do all the renovations,” Dussault-Walker said. “None of this would have been possible without all these wonderful people these last few years.”