This month Hospitality House had the pleasure and honor to host an Open House at our shelter to celebrate, reflect and dream up new ways for us to continually stand in the gap, advocating and giving agency to all homeless women that walk through our doors.
The open house was a wonderful time of delicious food, remembering and honoring the history and legacy of Hospitality House, and celebrating 20 incredible years Hospitality House and our partners have remained faithful and devoted to helping homeless women access basic needs such as a bed, shelter, food, shower, and a laundry facility. Providing these basic needs coupled with wrap-around support to give each Resident the appropriate rest, space and capacity to start envisioning the life she wants, is all part of our strategy in assisting each client toward reaching her personal goals and stability.
The Open House was a powerful time to be together. Especially, to see the amazing talents of local artist and muralist, Davie Ross. Davie presented her gorgeous mural painted in the courtyard, that is a shared space by the Residents of Hospitality House and the children of the Lake Burien Presbyterian Church’s After School Program. This beautiful mural of a woman embracing a child can symbolize many things to the eye of the beholder – life flourishing, female strength, nurturement, rest, love and an overwhelming sense of hope. Between Davie’s mural and the showcase of her second works a convicting progression piece, displaying the very raw reality of what it is like to be displaced from home, one could not deny the feeling and sense for a call to action.
We are beyond thankful for all who attended our Open House – Volunteers, Donors, Board Members, Friends and especially our distinguished guests: King County Superior Court Judge Marshal Fergauson; and Des Moines City Council Members Traci Buxton, Luisa Bangs and Robert K. Back. This day could not be possible or as meaningful without all of you.
As Davie’s progression piece reminded us all – There is still much work to be done. While we continue to work covering every woman who comes to Hospitality House seeking hope, health and home – we hope you too will continue to be there right beside us, standing in the gap.
Around Hospitality House, there have been many little in-house projects going on to spruce up our space, making Hospitality House even more warm, cozy and welcoming than before. However, one particular project that took place right outside of our shelter, (but absolutely needs to be highlighted) is our new gate!
Alex Lucero from Lake Burien’s Eagle Scout Troop 360 – took it upon himself to do a project that he thought would help increase the security and privacy of our clients. Part of being “Hospitable” here at Hospitality House, has a lot to do with how we provide a sense of safety and security for our Residents. While we do a great job covering those bases inside our shelter – it took a special person like Alex to note there was some work that could be done outside our shelter, too.
Alex put together the blueprint, collected all the materials, and rounded up all the help he was going to need to complete his project. Not only did he build our amazing gate (which has significantly cut back on all the random public foot traffic that used our walkway as a shortcut to access the streets we’re sandwiched between), but his team also took the time to stain and restore the old fence lining our walkway – so all the fencing could match our new gate!
For that, we just wanted to say a BIG “Thank you” to Alex for all his hard work to help keep the Women of Hospitality House safe!”
Linda was a homeless woman who was living in her car for a month before she came to Hospitality House. She had a past marred by drugs, domestic violence and jail, not to mention having battled significant mental health issues. When it all added up, the odds of success were not in her favor. Hitting rock bottom, losing custody of her children was the sobering awakening she needed to want to truly turn her life around and get a new start. She just needed a starting place, and Hospitality House was it.
Linda had been sober since early this year, but being homeless, just out of jail and living in her car made it difficult for her to rest, eat, do laundry, and focus on how to establish stable housing to get her kids back. Linda’s story and hope for change was one that easily moved our staff to action.
Each week, Linda met with her case manager to discuss a plan to help get her closer to her goals. Linda was directed to a local human services organization to help in her housing search. This move allowed Linda to see all the housing options that were available to her that fit her personal criteria. This was a game changer and her chances for a fresh start in a new home seemed possible.
Linda worked diligently down the list of low-income housing properties, applying to her prospective housing options. With constant check-ins, guidance and accountability from her case manager, Linda was able to push forward with her goals toward housing. She was also able to sort out her legal affairs, find sobriety support and get her mental health needs in order. With Linda’s sights set on the big picture, she was taking care of all the little details to ensure that nothing could hinder her from reaching her goal.
Imagine the thrill, joy and pride that Linda showed when she got the confirmation that she been approved to move into the apartment at the top of her “Hope List”! With the determination and tenacity she showed in making this dream come true, we are confident she will work just as hard, if not harder, to ensure that this may be the place that one day, her children too, may be able to call this place home.
* At Hospitality House, we respect everyone who comes to us for help – and many are working toward a fresh start in life. So while their stories are true, client names and images may have been changed to protect their privacy. Thank you for understanding.