First Place

Rating: 5 stars   4 reviews


PO Box 22536 Seattle WA 98122 USA


Mission Statement: First Place educates and nurtures children whose families struggle with the risk or reality of homelessness, where we offer housing, culturally relevant education and support services enabling families to achieve permanent stability. First Place is the only agency in Washington State providing high quality education to children whose families are homeless.  We are both a social services agency and school for children & families struggling with trauma, poverty & homelessness. Our education program includes pre-k through 6th grade classrooms and after school program featuring community-based curriculum and social/emotional support.  We also meet the basic needs of children through nutritious meals, clothing, hygiene, transportation, school supplies, health screening and mental health services.  Our support services for families include housing, life skills, job readiness, training, education and health services.  Our goal is long-term family stabilization which breaks the cycle of homelessness. Our vision is Hope, Home, and Education for every child, one family at time.

Direct beneficiaries per year:


Geographic areas served:

Greater Seattle Area


• Education Program, K-6th grade • Griffin Early Learning Center • Family Support Services • Family Unification For more information, visit our website:

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Reviews for First Place

Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

It was 12 years ago, I was a Washington State Representative and received a visit during legislative session from about 7 first place 5th graders. By the time they left I was convinced that yes poor children can learn, they can behave and their teachers can love them as if they were their own. I went on to be on their Advisory Board, then on the Board of Directors and eventually Board President. First Place has grown and evolved to include not only homeless children but those of incarcerated woman and those at risk of homelessness applying preventives. The Director Dr. Doreen Cato has grown along with First Place and elevated her learning and knowledge along with the kids by securing her terminal degree. Working with her as a board President was an incredible experience, as she is a consummate team player. I am now retired from both the Legislature and First Place Board. But I am still thankful for that day I was introduced to First Place. One of the little girls is now herself a mom all grown up. She stood before a full audience and told them that without First Place there was no hope for her and her mom, now they are fine. In fact they are contributors to their community and for that we say thank you First Place for what you do to break generational cycles of poverty and failed lives.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

First Place always comes up with strategies for funding that keeps them afloat even during the worst economic times. Since they work with the poorest families (homeless or close)this makes them wonderful examples for their clients.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand advocacy for the children who leave First Place and return to public school. This occurs after the family is stabilized in housing (three years max)

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The relationships between the Director and Administration, Board President and Directors, Staff and clients is interactive and mutually respectful. There were events when you could not tell who was who.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Committed to the excellence for the families and students. Those were not self selected out of the organization. It is not the culture of America to seek and find excellence in the poorest of families. This organization does; succeeds in elevating lives.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Expand its transitional housing stabilization program, create year round education and enrichment for homeless children and expand their best practices for poor children living with trauma to others.

Ways to make it better...

My experiences with First Place has been a life evolving one and it is hard for me to find what would be better.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

A sustained funding source The children have to return to public school and most often to cultures of failure.

One thing I'd also say is that...

If First Place can teach the children, reverse feelings and realities of hopelessness for families, so can other agencies and schools. Ask a FP client how is your life better in a sustained way because of FP and they will tell you of the positive outcomes

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

Every time I visit First Place, I am amazed by the warmth of the staff and the light in the children's eyes. They seem to appreciate every bit of love and support that pours in through the community. I go there with the intention of giving but receive so much more from the time I spend there. First Place is making a real difference in the lives of children and their families. I cannot help but be inspired by this organization's work.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

friendly and passionate about their work.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

Donating to a charity can be a rewarding experience as long as you feel confident in the organization. After visiting First Place in Seattle WA I am extremely confident in the people and the mission of this particular charity. I am just getting started with First Place, but the positive interactions with the staff and kids have me hooked for the long road! I would recommend getting involved and making a difference today!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Positive people looking to make a real difference in the lives of people in need. I felt like the staff truely understood the issues effecting the children and their parents and created a program to address the issues.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


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