FamilyWorks got its official non-profit status in December 1995.
In the early 1990’s, the Fremont Public Association (currently named Solid Ground) began developing an initiative to provide comprehensive, strength-based programming to support families and placed a VISTA volunteer, Janet Buttenwieser, to do this work. Janet recruited a group of local North End activists to form a Board of Directors and completed the paperwork to establish the North Cental Family Resource Center as a new non-profit organization, offering the first parent support classes in January of 1996.
In July of 1996, the board discussed the possibility of acquiring the Fremont Food Bank, which was operated by the Fremont Public Association. At that time, the name of the organization was officially changed to FamilyWorks. The first staff member, Jake Weber, was hired as the first Executive Director in November of 1997 and FamilyWorks took over operation of the food bank in April 1998.
In June of 1998, FamilyWorks moved from Fremont to the new FPA building at 1501 N. 45th St. in Wallingford, complete with a beautiful resource center, office for the WIC program, and a new food bank space. The Children’s Trust Foundation helped furnish the children’s play room in the resource center, and a bequest from Merridee and Houston Williams, former volunteers, helped purchase the cooler and freezer in the food bank, as well as ensuring rent for the next 5 years.
In 2007, the Fremont Public Association changed their name to Solid Ground. FamilyWorks remains a tenant in the Solid Ground building and retains a strong, working partnership with Solid Ground to serve our participants.
Since this time, FamilyWorks has grown to 14 staff and a Board of 12, and has expanded food distribution, added home delivery, implemented a weekend school nutrition program, and created programs that support and instill parenting and life-skills for individuals and families.
In 2016, the Greenwood Food Bank run by Volunteers of America was forced to shutter its doors, leaving many folks in the area without any food resources. To fill the gap, FamilyWorks partnered with the Salvation Army Seattle Temple Corps to open the Greenwood Food Resource Center (now known as the Greenwood Food Bank). Since the spring of 2016, we added a second set of service hours and are now serving an average of over 150 households per week!
With the support of hundreds of volunteers and donors and a caring community, we are working with individuals and families who might not have access to healthy, fresh food and parenting or life-skills resources, to improve their well-being and increase their resiliency.