First and foremost, we’d like you to know that this project has come together because of the tremendous support of this community, the Puyallup City Council, our Advisory Council, staff, and development team. We are incredibly thankful to the many dedicated individuals who have worked so hard to get us this far!
Q: Who founded Step By Step?
A: Krista Linden founded the Step By Sep Family Support Center [Step By Step] in 1997 and has continued to serve as the organization’s Executive Director for the past 21 years.
Q: Who does Step By Step serve?
A: Low income or at-risk women who are currently pregnant or parenting a child under 1 year old. Over 95% of the women we serve exist on an income level at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level.
Q: What is your mission statement?
A: Our mission is to transform the lives of at-risk pregnant women so they will deliver a healthy baby, embrace positive parenting, and establish a safe home.
Q: What is your vision statement?
A: Our vision is that every woman would see her pregnancy as a catalyst for positive change. By building on her strengths, she will choose health, see hope for her future, and give back to her family and community.
Q: Where does your funding come from?
A: For 21 years, Step By Step has maintained a contract with Washington State’s First Steps program, which funds a portion of our services and provides Maternity Support Services, through preventative health and education services to help a woman have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. The program is intended to decrease infant mortality rates and increase healthy birth weights. First Steps helps us provide in-home visits by licensed counselors, registered nurses, and dietitians to offer professional support and care to the vulnerable population we work with.
Other funding for our program comes from donations and public support, grants, fundraising, and events. We are also working to establish social enterprise opportunities that will offer job training and workforce development for our moms, generate additional revenue to strengthen and offset the cost of our program, and decrease our reliance on state funding.
Q: How many women do you serve each year and where do they live?
A: We work with approximately 1,200 women annually. The families we serve reside within three counties in the Puget Sound Region: Pierce, King, and Snohomish. Over 50% live in Pierce County.
Q: Where do you get referrals?
A: Our referrals come from a variety of sources including local practitioners and hospitals, DSHS, WIC, the Health Departments, schools, churches, pregnancy centers, homeless shelters, day clinics, food banks, and much more. Women often also contact us directly seeking support.
Q: Why are you expanding your existing program?
A: Good parenting and a stable home are critical for a child, a family, and for the health of our society as a whole. Parenting is hard, even under the best of circumstances. For 21 years, we have been helping babies be born healthy and moms get a good start to parenting. However, we have also witnessed firsthand the tremendous barriers that our moms face. Working to overcome generational cycles of poverty and abuse and provide a safe and stable home, over the long haul, is extremely difficult and takes time. Many of our moms need holistic care and support, beyond what we can currently provide.
Step By Step is in a unique position to help women move seamlessly from their first steps in our existing program, making healthy choices and delivering a healthy baby, to the next steps needed to work towards self-sufficiency and stability. Our expanded programs will continue to be holistic in nature, offering job training and workforce development opportunities that will be braided into our existing family service programs. We will continue to focus on mental health, life skills and parenting, and continued counseling and education.
Q: Why did you buy a farm?
A: We were looking for opportunities to establish a social enterprise program, where we could provide job training and workforce development to the women we serve, while also generating revenue to fund the program.
Krista, our founder and Executive Director, grew up on a farm and believes that farms are symbolic of what she wants women and children to experience - a sense of home and togetherness, shared values, and hard work. Family farms have been essential to this community, and we are excited to have the opportunity to preserve a beloved farm in this area and bring it back to life. We look forward to being able to repurpose these historically significant buildings and breathe new life and legacy into this site. This place will be able to continue to serve this community for generations to come.
Q: What work will be completed during this phase?
A: We will be re-purposing the existing 18,000 square foot main building onsite into a large center that will include classrooms and counseling rooms, a restaurant and catering facility, 2,000 sq. ft. training kitchen, and a 400-seat event hall. Site work will also be completed, including additional parking and required utility upgrades.
Q: Will all the businesses be available to the public?
Q: How much more do you need to raise?
A: This past spring, we thought we were within $800,000 of our goal. However, that was based on estimates given a year prior. Since then, we learned of additional requirements from the city, steel tariffs, and a huge increase in construction costs. We recently announced that we will need to raise an additional $2.5 million.
Q: If someone wants to make a donation, how can they let you know?
A: $2.5 Million is a lot of money and not something most of us can make a big dent in, but there are some who can. Once we reach this goal, we will launch a smaller public campaign to seek financial support for the start-up of the new programs.
Q: Will there be housing on the site?
Q: When do you anticipate having your grand opening?
A: We had hoped to be finished with construction, in time for Mother’s Day 2019, but current projections are closer to July 2019.
Q: When will you start booking events in the new event hall?
A: As soon as we have a confident completion date, possibly as early as the end of this year. We will be posting more information and updates on our website and Facebook page.
Q: Will there be positions that community members can apply for, who are not Step By Step clients?
A: Yes! We will be filling many positions with experienced professionals, to oversee the successful launch of the new center and pilot training program. Step By Step clients will be referred into the program, by their case managers, and will begin with counseling and soft skills education. Later, clients will move into mentored job training positions and may be hired back to fill peer training and management positions over time. However, the primary goal of the program is to teach skills and assist women in obtaining gainful employment, in their communities, outside of the Step By Step program. We expect to start publicizing open positions in January 2019.
Q: What are your plans for the other spaces and buildings onsite?
A: See Watercolor Illustration at the top of this page.
#1: Step By Step Main Office
# 2: Commons Building
2a Restaurant & Training Kitchen
2b Classrooms & Childcare
2c Event Hall
#3: Festival Barn - Semi-enclosed, event hall
#4 Greenhouse – Currently being used to grow seasonal, moss combination flower baskets. In the future, it will also grow produce for the restaurant. Space is also allocated for a future 2nd greenhouse.
#5 Gateway Building – Will eventually be repurposed into a concession stand/to-go kitchen, with a smaller event space, classroom, and offices.
#6 Pole Barn – Currently being leased.
#7 Outdoor Ampitheater
#8 Van Lierop Park [City of Puyallup]
#9 Private residence [Van Lierop Family]
Q: How will you celebrate the completion of this campaign?
A: Sleep! Just kidding… we will be announcing details about our Grand Opening event, most likely in March of 2019. We had hoped to be finished with construction, in time for Mother’s Day, but projections are closer to July 2019.