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ECEAP Preschool administrators

125 Years of Going Wherever We are Needed

In 2023, Volunteers of America Western Washington celebrated its 125th year and experienced remarkable growth, reflecting our unwavering commitment to serving the community's evolving needs. Founder Ballington Booth once remarked "we will go wherever we are needed and do whatever comes to hand," and we take this to heart.

Our year was one of growth and ambitious service.

“Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.”
– Minor Myers Jr.

Our staffing levels increased nearly 58% to a total of 744 employees across 8 programs and dozens of service areas. Hundreds of volunteers have contributed tens of thousands of hours of time in service to their neighbors.


Food distribution surged by 55%, and the community food banks and pantries welcomed over 84,000 individuals, more than ever before. We replaced the Eviction Resolution Pilot Program with tenant-landlord mediation, adapting swiftly to address emerging challenges in stable housing. Our preschool enrollment reached nearly full capacity, indicating the heightened demand for quality early childhood education.


As we look to the future, ambitious projects such as the Sky Valley Teen Center, the Lynnwood Neighborhood Center, and endeavors in affordable housing in Burlington highlight our dedication to community development and fostering thriving communities and empowering individuals toward self-sufficiency, ensuring a brighter future for all.

Empowering People.
Strengthening Communities.



124 households were served with rental assistance and wraparound case management to help them become self sufficient. Throughout the year, 6 clients went to school or a certification class, 26 gained employment, and 58 increased their income.


Our Behavioral Health team answered more than 105,000 calls across four regional crisis lines; plus 44,368 calls and 27,545 chats and texts to the 988 Suicide Prevention Lifeline; and the Native & Strong Lifeline, serving our Indigenous population 24/7 assisted more than 4,500 Native people in crisis.



Resource & referral specialists handled over 53,000 calls with 3,490 Coordinated Entries to assist those experiencing homelessness, 403 referrals to Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County, and over 9,000 boxes of food distributed to the community through the Nourishing Neighborhoods program.



The Everett Food bank served 67,571 individuals and delivered to 45 homes twice per month. In Sultan, over 17,000 people came to our door, and 4 home-bound clients received weekly deliveries. The Food Distribution Center supported local food banks and meal programs with more than 9.5M lbs of food in 2023.



Centers in Arlington, Lake Stevens, and Sultan (serving the Sky Valley) offered nearly $2M in direct assistance to struggling families and individuals. Families were served with backpacks and supplies to start the school year, shopped with first responders at the holidays, and received basic needs, referrals and support year-round.



The Early Childhood Education & Assistance Program supports families with holistic services in addition to preparing young learners for entry into Kindergarten. With the availability to serve 40 students and families in Monroe, 60 in Sultan, and 60 in Everett – we ended 2023 near full capacity.



In addition to other assistance, our PSS team provides support for independent living to 75 adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. And our Meaningful Day program offers connection and personal expression to help clients with IDD, their caregivers, and the community thrive.



Throughout Snohomish, Island, and Skagit Counties, we facilitated conflict resolution for 1,098 families, small claims parties, parents, tenants, and landlords. And nearly 19,000 people were served through fair housing training, restorative practices, and homelessness prevention programs.



At our welcome center in 2023, we served 1,597 new refugees among 11 nationalities. They received essential basic knowledge about their new neighborhood, local culture, legal system, school system, and more. Clients were able to obtain professional licenses/certifications through scholarships, and supplies for housing and transportation were secured, enabling them to successfully integrate into their Snohomish County communities.



Ending the year with 744 employees, up from 472 at the start of 2023, represents unprecedented expansion of staff to meet the needs of our community. Numbers were up across the board.


Our ECEAP team nearly doubled, while Disability Services saw an addition of 55 employees and Behavioral Health grew 103% to support our region and state with crisis care services.



The Carl Gipson Center in Everett is a membership-based community for ages 50+ with 46 activities serving more than 1,000 active members and offers a hub of education and opportunity for other underserved populations. In Sultan, the Sky Valley Center, 260 individuals were served with lunch and personal enrichment activities and classes. 

Breaking Free

Tales of need are not difficult to find. Those who reach out for help are the heroes of their own story, with our staff, volunteers, and community partners playing supporting roles. There is no end to the potential for growth and self-sufficient living. And, while many of those we serve are facing chronic hunger, stark homelessness, debilitating crisis, or crushing uncertainty, there are those who are hard at work, with quiet determination to make better decisions and choosing a life where anything is possible.

Meet Victor.

Victor walked out of prison on January 10, 2023. Forty-eight hours later, his life changed forever.


With only clothes and a handful of paperwork, he missed the bus that was scheduled to take him to Oxford House where he would be living. In despair, he turned to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), who in turn, referred him to the Arlington Community Resource Center.


He made his way to the office in Smokey Point on January 12. He recounts leaving his then-wife outside because he was already stressed out about being sent away from DSHS. And her becoming increasingly irate at not being able to light her cigarette was more than he could handle.


Victor entered the office and encountered Patty, an intern from AARP, who offered him food. But he wasn’t hungry. He could only tackle the immediate hassle, which was getting his wife’s cigarette lit. Patty ushered him into the office of Site Director Marlydann Dugger, whose first question was, “What do you need right now?”


“A lighter,” be blurted out. Marlydann couldn’t provide one but probed further. She noticed that he was “nervous and sure that missing his appointment meant that he was now facing homelessness.” She reached out to Oxford and explained the dilemma. “[The housing services rep] reassured me that Victor could still move in and offered to come pick him up and take him ‘home.’ This would be the first time that ‘home’ was a reality for Victor [in over 5 years].”


This encounter was the first of a weekly meeting that continues today.


Homelessness, divorce, debilitating anxiety, and living in a rigidly planned environment in both prison and at Oxford House had destroyed his confidence to make decisions and be responsible for himself. When he would show up on Thursday afternoon, he didn’t always know what he needed. He just knew he felt safe. Every conversation gives him the strength to keep moving forward. Every bit of advice, he takes it to heart. He doesn’t know where he’d be without the ACRC, knowing they believed in him before he could believe in himself.

In between navigating the web of Social Security Disability, child support modification, transportation logistics, and employment, Marlydann and Victor discuss things like time travel, light bulbs, and the time she gave him a burrito because he was hungry. It turns out, he didn’t eat it until he got home. “I was at the bus stop, and it was cold. I was freezing. And I was so hungry, but I kept that burrito in my pocket to keep me warm,” he says without a hint of irony.


Even after the ACRC moved to its current location on First Street in downtown, Victor maintains a standing appointment. It's mostly out of tradition or habit, but also because Marlydann continues to be a support while he begins to trust himself again and reintegrate productively into society.


He now works the Taco Bell drive- through and is amazed that he can make $17 per hour, live clean, and feel “ready to face life by myself. I’ve gone from my wife leaving me at a rest stop holding a plastic container of food to working and driving.”


He encounters many people at the drive-through window or wandering about outside. “I tell them, ‘These people [at the ACRC] can help if you’re homeless or hungry. I mean, I was grateful when Marlydann handed me a sleeping bag, shirts, and underwear. But I had no idea of the full potential of this place.” 


Never stopping to think of the progress that’s been made is largely due to his own efforts, he calls Marlydann his life coach, a title she refuses to accept. “It’s all him,” she emphasizes, appreciating his newfound confidence in his ability to “do life.” And on this most recent Thursday, Victor is still learning the idea of full potential. This time, it’s his own.


Board of Directors


  • Suzan Sturholm, Board Chair

  • Todd Brunner, Properties Board Chair

  • Chris McGinness, Finance & Audit Committee Chair

  • Stephen Zimmerman, Governance Committee Chair

  • Paul Butler

  • Aimee Do

  • Todd Henrichsen

  • Vicci Hilty

  • Mark Hulst

  • Bryan P. O'Connor

  • Lori Schlindwein

  • Amit Singh, Ph.D.

  • Brian Smith

  • Shannon Testa

  • Kirstin Tyner

  • Brenda White

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Mahatma Gandhi



  • Brian Smith, President/CEO

  • Kristi Myers, Chief Operations Officer

  • Jennifer Nobiling, Chief Financial Officer

  • Levi Van Dyke, Chief Behavioral Officer

  • Jan Olsen, Executive Asst. & Board Secretary

  • Dixie Behn, VP of Infrastructure

  • Claire Danielson, VP of Finance

  • Chris Eck, VP of Programs

  • Kristin Ely, VP of Strategic Initiatives

  • Olga Fedorovski, VP of Human Resources

  • Jessica Moore, VP of Development

  • Kirk Pearson, VP of External Affairs

  • Steve Woodard, Ph.D., VP of Community Engagement

Support & Revenue  |  $114,556,973


Private Support ........................ $1,890,321

(Individuals, Corporations, Organizations & Foundations)

Public Support .......................... $89,356,804

(Government Contract & Grants)

In-Kind ....................................... $21,974,474

Program & Other ...................... $1,335,375

Operating Expenses  |  $109,373,536


Management/General ................... $6,072,179

Fundraising ..................................... $1,206,035

Programs & Services ..................... $102,095,322

Financial data in this report are preliminary and subject to change upon audit. More detailed financial reporting available upon request.

OUR 2023

From the teams who work together to the people we serve and everyone on this journey with us, thank you for helping us celebrate 125 years of community!

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