Profile: The Filipino Community of Seattle (FCS)
The Filipino Community of Seattle (FCS) is one of Seattle's most vibrant community groups. It serves the tightly knit Filipino and Filipino-American community and has deep roots in the Rainier Valley, including a community center building on M.L. King Jr. Way South that dates back to 1935.
With programs for everyone from children to seniors, FCS had outgrown the original community center building. The organization had a dream of renovating and expanding the center. To realize this dream, FCS engaged in extensive fundraising, and as part of that effort, FCS leaders approached Rainier Valley Community Development Fund (CDF) for grant funds. Unfortunately the Rainier Valley CDF was only able to offer a loan.
FCS was initially reluctant to borrow money because they were debt-free on the building. In fact, they had celebrated their debt-free status with a mortgage-burning ceremony when they paid off the original loan. However, many of their fundraising commitments were contingent upon their achieving a certain threshold of equity and/or debt for the new development. The FCS leaders called a meeting of their entire membership to ask for guidance. More than 300 people attended the meeting and the community ultimately decided that getting a loan from the Rainier Valley CDF was the best thing to do so that they could proceed with their project and achieve their vision.
With their gap financing secured with the loan from the Rainier Valley CDF, the FCS went on to raise over $2.1 million. Their newly expanded and renovated center opened in May 2008.
The Rainier Valley Community Development Fund provides economic development for local residents, businesses and developers through its loan programs.
Photographer: Flyright Productions