Watson Manor

watson manor transitional living program

The Watson Manor Transitional Living Program provides up to two years of transitional housing and support services to single, homeless, extremely low-income* teenage and young adult mothers and their children.

The 16 to 25 year-old mothers have one to two children or are at least six months pregnant. The program serves a very diverse population, typically higher in ethnic and cultural minorities than is represented in the Kent School District. In 2011, Watson Manor’s ethnic makeup was 15% Hispanic and the racial composition was 48% Black/African-American, 14.8% American Indian/Alaskan Native, 7.4% White, 3.7% Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and 25.9% multi-racial.

Individualized services include case management, parent education, life skills training, counseling, substance abuse services, assistance in finding permanent housing, and referral to childcare, educational, and vocational programs. For many residents, hope begins at Watson Manor with a stable place to live and the opportunity to overcome barriers, develop a rental history, finish school, gain work experience, become self-sufficient, and learn the skills needed to obtain and retain permanent housing. The program provided hope to 27 homeless young mothers and children who called Watson Manor home during 2011.

Hope began for Lanelle and Tre, her toddler son, when they moved into a furnished two-bedroom apartment in Watson Manor during the fall of 2011. 

Homeless, in debt, evicted from her apartment, without anyone to take them in, and unable to afford the college program she loved, Lanelle found hope at Watson Manor where she could get her feet on the ground. Now in a stable place to live at a price based on her income, Lanelle was able to begin focusing on her other goals of learning to budget, getting debts paid off, establishing a good rental history, holding a steady job, re-enrolling in her college program, providing a stable nurturing home and learning environment for Tre, and securing permanent housing to move into after Watson Manor.

Without Watson Manor, hope would have ended with Lanelle and Tre being on the street or going to a shelter, if available. Lanelle would be without the stable housing so critical to being able to hold down a job, go to school, pay off debt, provide a healthy environment for her toddler, and become self-sufficient.

* Extremely low income is defined as at or below 30% of Area Median Income (AMI).