City Ministries is about helping children, families and community by providing social services and educational services from a faith-based perspective. City Ministries is a tax-exempt social service organization that provides various services to the community.
In 1993, City Church started a social service non-profit food distribution ministry by picking up “day-old” bread and delivering it to needy neighbors in the Crossroads area of Bellevue, WA. This grew to servicing many grocery stores and household goods stores and distributing those items to families in need as well as churches in the community and other social service organizations. Throughout the 1990’s, CM operated a Women in Transition Home that helped women and their children in difficult situations move to a place of stability and re-integration back to the workforce and safer, stable living situations. At the same time, we opened City Computer School which provided low or no cost certification program in the Microsoft Office Suite, allowing people to build those much needed computer skills. Another ministry that operated for many years was City Colors, a resale clothing shop that accepted gently used clothing that was either given or sold at a very low price to those in need. At that time we had partnerships with local women’s outreach organizations, other churches, our local DSHS offices to support their efforts in helping women and children.
In 1995, City Church moved to its present location on the Eastside and with that move added City Kids School – originally called City Kids Preschool, to serve the preschool needs of children in the community. Consistently each year 75% or more of our students came from the surrounding community and are able to take advantage of a strong developmentally appropriate curriculum and excellent teaching staff. All of these services were provided from a position of faith, believing the best for people, and a heart of love for our community.
In 2002, the church started City Ministries as a separate nonprofit organization to enlarge the food distribution ministry and include all the ministries under one umbrella to better serve our community.
In 2007, with much prayer we ventured into the arena of foster care. It began with the construction of 22 homes and a community center on the east side of Seattle. Many hearts were stirred, many prayers prayed, and families stood up and joined the journey. We now have a thriving foster care program and child placing agency, as well as a community were foster families we license may choose to live.
The Rose Hill Cottages & Aaron Haskins Community Center stand as a testament to the faith, love and heart of service of many, many people. City Ministries Child Placement Agency is doing effective hands on case management, recruitment and training of foster parents, and maintains partnerships with DSHS and other community partners to provide a safety net for the rescue and protection of children. City Kids School is experiencing record growth and is an award winner in the Early Achiever program and has expanded to pre-K, Kindergarten and preschool.
Today a few of the components have changed as we adapted to the community needs, but our mission to serve our community remains the same. As we move forward and continue to grow, your generosity in giving, your prayers, and volunteerism are important as we all do our part to make our community a safe, prosperous, welcoming place for children and families.
Virginia Smith – President
Troy Anderson – Secretary/Treasurer
George Reece – Member
Norma Jean Reece – Member
Lyman Letgers – Member
Stevie Letgers – Member
Dr. Shauna Carlise – Member
Dave Heindel – Member
Patti Heindel – Member
Dr. Shauna Carlisle – Consultant
Honorable Kathy Lambert – Consultant
The City Church
The City Church started City Ministries and continues to financially support with an annual grant, provide spiritual oversight, and many of its members are volunteers.
Harvest Hands Alliance
City Ministries has been involved with Harvest Hands since its inception in 2012. Andrew & Michelle Schneidler are strong ministry partners who contributed their expertise during the formation of City Ministries Child Placement Agency. The purpose of Harvest Hands is to further the cause of orphan care in the Pacific Northwest through networking with local church, state, and agency leaders. We seek to provide ministry and agency leaders with:
■ Opportunities to share ideas
■ Collaboration and coordination of events
■ Training and education that will help leaders support adoptive and foster families, orphans, and at-risk children
■ Support and resources for implementing adoption, foster care and orphan care ministries across the Pacific Northwest
Treehouse invests in the lives of young people who have faced the deep wounds from a crisis of parenting. In helping them to secure the essential education, basic material needs, and social experiences they equally deserve, we help kids in foster care discover their own resilience and strength. City Ministries encourage its foster parents to access resources and facilitates donations to support the work of treehouse.
Warm Beach Camp & Conference Center
We exist to provide environments, experiences, and resources, which draw people of all ages to God through the ministry of Christian Camping. Warm Beach Camp has consistently provided tickets for our foster families & children to attend their annual Christmas Lights Celebration and offer summer camping opportunities for foster families from City Ministries and many other organizations.
Refresh is a Christian conference designed for foster and adoptive parents, kinship providers, grandparents, and others who care for God’s orphaned and vulnerable children. We understand firsthand that this journey can be difficult and lonely. The Refresh Conference is a time for you to escape from the distractions and chaos of life and be physically, emotionally, spiritually refreshed, equipped, and inspired. City Ministries has been a participant in this conference since its inception as an exhibitor as well as in attendance of our foster parents, respite providers and volunteers. We look forward to continuing our involvement and seeing it grow.
CORE (Foster Parent Training)
City Ministries participates with other private agencies to provide the basic training for foster parents we license. This training is open to anyone wanting to become a foster parent in our community of King, Pierce & Snohomish Counties. We utilize the Aaron Haskins Community Center, and our staff participates as hosts and presenters of the training.
Early Achievers Program Department of Early Learning
Early Achievers, Washington’s voluntary quality rating and improvement system, gives participating child care professionals free access to coaching, professional development and a tangible way to demonstrate their commitment to providing quality care and education for young children. City Kids School is a participant in this program for 2015-2017 and received grant funding and an initial rating of 3!
DSHS – Children & Families
City Ministries is a contracted provider for the State of Washington as a child placing agency. We work closely with DCFS offices primarily in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.
CAFO (Christian Alliance for Orphans)
The Christian Alliance for Orphans unites 180+ respected organizations and a global network of churches. Our joint initiatives inspire and equip Christians to live out effectively the Bible’s call to care for orphans and vulnerable children. We are a member-agency organization.
Our mission is to see foster children cared for in safe, loving, stable, faith-filled families focused on permanence and stability for the children through restoration of their birth and/or extended families or placement with an adoptive family.
We will do this by providing family and community-based foster care and adoption services (when necessary) utilizing a unique model that provides a nurturing, supportive environment.