2004 – The Journey Begins

Our story traces back to 2004 when Theresa Roosendaal began volunteering as a refugee family mentor. The experience awakened a desire to help others integrate into the Tri-Cities by providing a welcoming environment where newly arriving families can thrive.

B5 Apartment

2008 – Embracing the Karen People

In the spring of 2008, Theresa mentored the first family from the S’gaw Karen people of Myanmar to arrive in the Tri-Cities. Others from her church, Family of Faith Church, welcomed this new family that shared their Christian faith into their fellowship. As other Karen families arrived, their friends invited them to join them at the church.

2009 – The Family Learning Center Takes Root

In the fall of 2009, to better support their new refugee friends, Family of Faith Church rented a one-bedroom apartment in the complex where these new families were making their first home. The church re-purposed the apartment so it could serve as a learning space. Adults could learn English in the daytime and children came after school for homework help and activities. This was the beginning of the Family Learning Center (FLC). It began as a ministry of Family of Faith Church with a separate board for organizational oversight.

The members of the church recognized these Biblical truths as foundational to the ministry:

  • Every human being is created in the Image of God and has inherent dignity.
    • So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27
  • We obey and honor God by loving our neighbors.
    • Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, love your neighbor as yourself – Luke 10:27.
  • Loving our neighbors includes loving the ‘foreigners’ in our land.
    • When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself – Leviticus 10:33,34.
  • We love with action and truth.
    • Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and truth – I John 3:18.

2014 – A Non-Profit is Formed

Since 2009. refugees from many countries have been welcomed by the FLC. Other churches and individuals have joined the support of the work. In May of 2014, the FLC became an independent non-profit organization, 501(c)(3). As the FLC continued to grow, we moved into 2 adjacent apartments so we could better serve the community.

2022 – A New Name

Since 2012 our home has been apartment number B5. We became known in the community by our apartment number. Because B5 is an integral part of our beginning and so well-loved, in 2022 we embraced B5 as our organization’s name.

2023 – A New Home

Today we continue to serve a diverse community of refugees and immigrants in 2 adjacent apartments in the same community, with the mission of helping them thrive in their new home, but our home has become too small.

In July 2023, we broke ground for the new B5 Learning Center, a significant milestone that will expand our reach and support for the community. This center will serve as a hub for learning, growth, and empowerment, offering a wider range of educational programs and cultural integration opportunities. Join us in making a lasting difference in the lives of those we serve and building a stronger, more inclusive community where everyone can thrive.

Community Learning Center

At B5, our history is a testament to the power of compassion and community, and we invite you to be a part of our journey in making a lasting impact on the lives of those we serve.

Our Executive Director

Theresa Roosendaal has been serving in the Tri-Cities refugee community since 2004, when she began volunteering as a mentor for new arrivals through World Relief. In 2009, with the help of her church, and motivated by her ‘love for God, who made all people in his image and calls us to welcome the stranger’, Theresa founded the Family Learning Center in a one-bedroom apartment in central Kennewick. From the beginning, her vision for the ministry was formed around the values that are part of B5’s core values today, creating a safe and welcoming community where all people are treated with dignity and respect. As the community grew and others joined with the work, the church ministry became an independent 501(c)(3) and began working from 2 adjacent apartments. In 2022, the Family Learning Center changed its name to B5 as that is the name it has long been known by in the community. To date, staff and volunteers with B5 have helped more than 2,500 people from all over the world learn English, earn citizenship, prepare for life beyond high school, and become contributing members of our community. In 2022, Theresa earned a Master of Arts in Global Leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary, which further equipped her to empower refugees, immigrants, and their families so they can thrive in their new home.

Theresa Roosendaal

Donate to B5 Today

Donations to B5 nonprofit are vital for providing direct assistance, enhancing programs, promoting accessibility, empowering families, creating community impact, and instilling hope. Your contributions make a tangible difference in the lives of the families we serve, helping them overcome challenges, build resilience, and create a brighter future where they can thrive.