“The work that Compass does is close to my heart,” Armando Mejia said, speaking to the Compass staff gathered around a few tables at Renton Veterans Center (RVC). “Military service people and their families have such an amazing partner in all of you.”
Winner of Compass’s inaugural 2023 Outstanding Community Partner award, Armando Mejia is The Boeing Company’s Community Investor for the Puget Sound region, focused on supporting Veterans. Armando, a long-time partner of Compass’s Renton Veterans Center, came to present Compass with an incredible honor, a $150,000 grant award that will provide direct support to all of Compass’s Veterans and their families.
Thanks to Boeing’s generous funding, Veterans and their families at Compass will benefit from vital resources to enhance staffing and case management, employment counseling and workplace readiness programs, financial coaching and debt consolidation services, food support, youth programs, wellness and health groups, therapeutic gardening groups, community events, computers and internet devices, specialized staff training…the list goes on.
Around the room, Compass staff shared examples of what the Boeing grants have allowed them to do in the past, and how this new grant will benefit Veterans and their families moving forward.
Shree, from Shoreline Veterans Center (SVC), described how support from Boeing allowed staff at SVC to meet residents’ critical immediate needs, while also expanding enrichment and community-building activities.
“We are able to get people what they need now,” she said, “and we’ve ramped up activities for our residents too. We improved our community kitchen, and we’ve provided cooking classes, music classes, and even body movement classes. Trauma is carried in the body, so the body movement classes can really help Veterans deal with their trauma.”
Evan and Megan from RVC shared about the thriving resident activity groups that offer fishing, yoga, gardening, and chess clubs enabling the community to come together in person once again. These activities have helped ease the lingering effects of COVID-19 isolation on both residents and staff and are all made possible by Boeing’s funding.
“We knew we had to get people back together,” Evan said. “These clubs and activities get people out of isolation and build a supportive community. It is so important for people, especially Veterans, to feel connected.”
“I’m all about your impact on Veterans and their families,” Armando said. “The way that you build community through these groups reminds me of what I hear from Veterans all the time. They want to do things together. They want to celebrate together. They want to honor their service together. Thank you for giving Boeing this opportunity to collaborate.”
Boeing’s ongoing commitment to improve the lives of Veterans in our community is seen and felt every day at Compass Housing Alliance. We are thankful for this special partnership and are excited to see the impact that we can make together in the coming year.