MOUNT VERNON — Friendship House has a new executive director, a former resident of the house itself.
Tina Tate, previously Friendship House board president from 2011 to 2012, said it’s her dream to take over the director position.
“Friendship House changes lives,” Tate said in a news release. “I know this from personal experience.”
After growing up in a bad environment, struggling with drug issues and living in Portland, Ore., without a home, Tate arrived in Mount Vernon and sought a safe place to stay at Friendship House.
“What I found was a lot more than shelter,” she said. “I found help and a home. I found love and acceptance. I found myself and salvation.”
Tate works as the circulation manager at Skagit Publishing, and says she owes her success to the company and Friendship House. She will continue on in her role at Skagit Publishing part-time until June.
“Friendship House saved my life seven years ago,” she said in the release. “I am immensely grateful for its existence.”
Friendship House provides the only daily meal service in Skagit County. The 28-year-old organization operates four houses, two that provide emergency shelter and two that provide transitional housing.
Tate said her main goal for the organization is stability. The house recently opened a new, expanded kitchen and launched its Hunger to Hope program, which offers classes to house residents to teach basic cooking skills and offer kitchen certifications. Tate wants to focus on refining and developing that program.
“It’s full circle for me,” she said. “This organization is where my heart is. To see it flourish is going to be awesome.”