RENTON, Wash. — Cywn Glenn was stunned when she heard the news that her former foster parents were being kicked out of the Renton home where they’ve lived for seven years.
“My feet would not be underneath me like they are now,” she said of Edmundo Serena Sanchez and his wife Paula, who have fostered 20 children over the years at a waterfront home on Lake Washington Blvd.
Last month, the couple received a notice from the non-profit Friends of Youth that owns the home, saying they would have to move out. The letter said the organization was shifting to a different strategic vision and would begin using Howard’s House – where the foster parents live – to house migrant children from the U.S. border.
“Well, the first reaction was to ask them, “OK, you want us to move out of here. What’s going to happen with the kids?'” said Serena Sanchez, who is currently fostering four children.
Friends of Youth said Friday they found new foster homes for those children. Shuffling those children around is something Cywn Glenn doesn’t take lightly.
“It’s honestly one of the scariest things that you can go through,” said Glenn, who bounced around homeless shelters before arriving at Edmundo’s home at age 17. “I really can’t stress enough how amazing they are and how grateful I am for them."
DeAnn Adams, chief program officer for Friends of Youth, said the sudden change was because of the surge of migrant children at the border, and because of new funding opportunities through the federal government’s Office of Refugee Resettlement.
She said the decision wasn’t made for financial gain and that the home will be used to house more children than it currently does.
It’s unclear if migrant programs are dislodging other Washington foster children.
When asked about the case, U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal said, “Seattle will do everything it can to be part of the solution."