They were homeless, finding shelter with friends and family members, in motel rooms and, in some cases, broken down RVs without access to bathrooms and running water.

Soon, those five Tumwater families will be moving into brand new, fully-furnished homes right across the street from their children’s elementary school.

It’s the product of a unique partnership between the Tumwater School District and the Housing Authority of Thurston County. And it’s the first of its kind in Thurston County, according to Tammie Smith, director of housing services at the housing authority, which reserved five units in the new Allen Orchard housing development specifically for homeless families with children at Tumwater’s Peter G. Schmidt Elementary School.

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