Family Support Center of South Sound supports domestic violence/sexual assault survivors

Celebrate and support survivor's successes this Saturday at a 1920's theme Gala


Family Support Center of South Sound provides families with children and survivors of domestic violence/sexual assault with coordinated supportive services to accomplish their mission of “Working Together to Strengthen All Families and Survivors.”

The Family Begins

Family Support Center (FSC) was established in 1992 by a group of child and family advocates who recognized gaps in our community’s safety net services. “The organization was developed to ensure that ALL families have the support and resources needed to raise healthy children,” says Trish Gregory, their Executive Director.  “The organization served as a convener; bringing together multiple like-minded organizations to share space within the Family Support Center Building to intentionally reduce the barriers that families faced in accessing services”. In addition to serving as the landlord, FSC employed a Family Resource Specialist who coordinated services between the partners onsite and in the community. Over the years, the FSC has continued to grow, adding additional programs, services, and partners. In 2018, FSC bought what is now the Family Support Center Campus on the Westside of Olympia, providing the capacity to expand even further. The agency currently offers six core programs and co-locates with an additional 15+ government and nonprofit organizations, reducing the number of places a family or survivor in crisis must go to have their needs met.

Programs Offered by Family Support Center

  • Homeless FamilyServices: provides coordinated entry, case management, rapid re-housing assistance, and housing search and placement for ANY family experiencing homelessness.  
  • FamilyShelter Program: which includes Pear Blossom Place, the region’s largest 24-hour emergency homeless family shelter with 36 year-round beds and seven onsite permanent housing units with supportive services;10 beds at the new family shelter located on the Family Support Center Campus; and coordination of 10+ hotel rooms serving as additional emergency shelter options.
  • Parent & Child Education Program: provides formal and informal parenting education, breast/chestfeeding support, community-wide workshops, and family
  • FamilyResource Services provides families with hygiene supplies, transportation assistance, mainstream benefits enrollment, financial education, resource navigation, utility assistance, eviction prevention, diversion, and support in accessing any and all available resources in the community. 
  • FamilyJustice Center: a collaborative, co-located program that offers both confidential community-based services and criminal justice system support for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors annually.  

Gregory says FSC continues to change and grow to best respond to the needs of our community.  “Some of our greatest successes in the past five years include funding and successfully managing three major renovation projects aimed at increasing the availability of resources,” she says. “This included renovations at the Family Support Center Campus to welcome a new 96-slot child care center program with 30% of the slots prioritized for families who have a state child care subsidy, the development of a new family shelter at our campus increasing total shelter beds for kids and parents in the community by 10, as well as the development of a new 62 unit affordable housing complex that will house currently homeless families and/or survivors of domestic violence by Christmas of this year”.

How Else Can You Support FSC?

1920's theme Gala this Saturday

Like most nonprofits, FSC relies on volunteers, donations, and fundraisers to support its mission. This Saturday, September 16, FSC will be hosting an evening of glitz and glamour to celebrate the successes of the families and survivors who are served by FSC. According to Gregory, the selected venue, the Olympic Flight Museum, inspired a 1920's theme event which will include live music, a sumptuous spread of food, delectable cocktails and libation, and, of course, great opportunities for photos! For tickets and more details, click here.


We are delighted to share that we are able to take volunteers at Pear Blossom Place family shelter once again,” says Gregory. “We are also seeking volunteers to help manage our Family Resource Station at our main office to assist in handing out provisions to families such as diapers, warm jackets, or other basic need items like hygiene products and food”. If you are interested in volunteering, contact the Communications and Community Engagement Specialist, Keyla at

Host a supply drive! 

Family Support Center is always eager to accept donations of hygiene supplies, diapers, wipes, nonperishable food, school supplies, cold weather gear, and other concrete items that we can then get into the hands of people who really need them.

Make a donation! 

Supporting over 3,000 parents, children and survivors a year is a complex issue” says Gregory. “We are always seeking funding to support our programs and services as well as in-kind donations like those mentioned above that we can distribute as available. To discuss monetary or in-kind donations”. Contact Development Director Maija at to make a donation or to tour the campus.
According to Gregory, the support and resources provided by FSC increase the health and safety of children and their families, providing a pathway to breaking the cycles of poverty, child abuse, and trauma in future generations.  “FSC's programs and services literally save lives ensuring that highly vulnerable children and their families are able to access basic need services such as a safe, warm place to sleep,” says Gregory. “Survivors of violence gain access to highly trained advocates to help them systematically plan for their safety if/when they decide to flee.” 

Did you know that 60% of eligible voters are never asked to register? Now, you don’t have that excuse! National Voter Registration Day is next Tuesday, September 19th. According to the national website, this is the nation’s biggest nonpartisan civic holiday, and nonprofits across the country, as well as other organizations, are joining together for a one-day, nationwide blitz to raise awareness of nonpartisan voter registration opportunities to ensure that every eligible voter is registered. You may have seen the recent article in The JOLT News about Lacey’s proclamation. Want to know how to register to vote in Washington? Click here.  

Soliciting your ideas

If you know of a nonprofit that is doing something great, celebrating a success, needs some outstanding volunteers, or hosting an event, let me know! This column (aside from a little education) celebrates nonprofits!

Mary Beth Harrington, CVA (Certified Volunteer Administrator) lives in Tumwater. She travels the country speaking at conferences and to individual organizations articulating issues facing nonprofits. Send your ideas to her at


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