First A.M.E. Church & Catholic Housing Services Launch New Partnership & Project
Elizabeth Thomas Homes Project Blessing Ceremony
Tuesday, February 22, 2022, 1:00 p.m.
On Tuesday, February 22, 2022, First A.M.E. Church-Seattle (F.A.M.E. Church) and Catholic Housing Services (CHS) will launch a new organization under F.A.M.E. Church-Seattle: The FAME-Equity Alliance of Washington (FAME-EAW). We are launching with the “Initial Blessing Ceremony” of a new workforce housing development in South Seattle, The Elizabeth Thomas Homes Project. This project is dedicated to a historic Black Community Healthcare Provider & Activist, Ms. Elizabeth (Liz) Thomas. This “Initial Blessing Ceremony” will be held Tuesday, February 22, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. streamed online due to the pandemic.
Ms. Elizabeth R. Thomas was inducted into the WA. St. Nurses Assoc. Hall of Fame in 2000. She was the first Black graduate of the Pediatric Nursing degree program at the University of Washington. A devoted member of the Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses organization, she was the Head Nurse at the Odessa Brown Clinic in the Central District where she was dedicated to better health care for Black children and youth. She was appointed by Archbishop Murphy to lead the Taskforce that rededicated the CCS-Black Family Center to the Black Community in the Central District, Seattle.
The Elizabeth Thomas Homes project will bring 119 units of workforce family housing (studios, one, two, and three bedrooms), focused on families of Color to help mitigate displacement and the rolling tide of gentrification across Seattle. It will contain a plaza and playground, offices, a space for a Black-led non-profit from the community, laundry rooms, a roof top deck, and a community room to host offerings using the “Village Spirit Services Model” as a base of support to each family’s future prosperity.
The FAME-Equity Alliance of Washington (FAME-EAW) is a culmination of the implementation of the “Black American Initiative” under the Communities of Concern Initiative created by Catholic Community Services (CCS.) The final promise was to support the financial long-term sustainability of an organization or institution in the Black Community in Seattle. That institution is the First A.M.E. Church-Seattle because of its already long-term history of 140 years in Central Seattle.
Ms. Evelyn Thomas Allen, President & Executive Director, of the FAME-EAW is a Master level organizational, services, and community economic development leader. She has over 16 years of experience in housing and services development. She brings to the Rainier Beach community her lived experience of what displacement and gentrification meant to the historic Black Community in the Central District, Seattle. She is also the implementer of the successful services model highlighting Black family excellence and success at the “Village Spirit Center for Community Change & Healing.” Elements of this model and other targeted supports for family excellence and success will also be implemented at the Elizabeth Thomas Home project.
Funding come from US Bank, Heritage Bank, Seattle Office of Housing, WA State Housing Trust Fund, and the Washington State Housing Finance Commission.
The Elizabeth Thomas Homes was designed by Environmental Works, and Walsh Construction is the general contractor.