Nevzat Cankaya’s green drive-through espresso stand in a Skyway parking lot has been the community’s only coffee shop for years and a staple for commuters.
With luck, Cankaya will be able to fulfill a longtime dream of opening a sit-down cafe this summer. While construction has been delayed by the pandemic, the eventual space will be a game-changer for Skyway.
On Friday, Oct. 16, members of the Skyway community and government officials gathered to celebrate the designation of the second U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) EnVision Center in Washington State, which is set to provide resources for residents in Skyway.
The Renton Innovation Zone Partnership (RIZP) has emerged as an amazing community collective that works to support families in Skyway, West Hill, and the Renton Highlands with basic needs, early learning opportunities, and community and family engagement resources.
RIZP started in 2017 when Renton School District Superintendent Dr. Damien Pattenaude began looking for community involvement to help support students living within the Renton Innovation Zone, where 5,023 students currently live.
“He [Dr. Pattenaude], along with a couple other organizations, convened a bunch of providers, nonprofits, and city government, and was like, ‘schools can’t do it alone,’” said Ryan Quigtar, Executive Director of RIZP. Quigtar is excited about the prospective partnership, but acknowledged that partnerships like this have been tried in the past.