Hospitality House is back open and in full operation after closing for two weeks due to COVID-19 exposure. The entire shelter was deep-cleaned and staff has tightened protocol to keep clients, staff and volunteers safe. Thank you to everyone who supports us! You are all indispensable parts of this operation and your donations help us continue to serve homeless women during an uncertain time. The Donations Needed List for this month of September includes items we need to help our women find home, health, and hope. Check out the link below to see this month’s needs!
Welcome to Hospitality House Women’s Shelter. Come, let us take you on a virtual tour of our shelter.
Last week Hospitality House confirmed its first COVID-19 exposure. After a client tested positive, Hospitality House staff and King County Public Health immediately began to work in concert. Clients were taken to an offsite accommodation to safely quarantine. The shelter has been temporarily closed to accommodate cleaning and a 14-day quarantine for both clients and staff.
The continued safety of our clients, staff, and volunteers remains our utmost priority. We remain steadfast in our high standards and appreciate your support as we negotiate our health and safety plan.
For the past 20 years we have met in downtown Burien to take a walk together. We warm up, lace up, and hold up our signs. We walk in solidarity – we Walk for the Women.
I want nothing more than to gather, greet, and walk with each of you but we need everyone to be safe. I know we will miss the camaraderie of coming together but we still have the mission of helping homeless women find home, health and hope to fulfill.
We invite you to choose YOUR MOVE, YOUR WAY and YOUR DAY!
Here’s how it works:
Step 1: YOUR MOVE
Register for the event then decide how you want to move – walk, run, bike, hike.
If you are not able to move, your move can simply be a donation.
Step 2: YOUR WAY
Choose the way you want to participate, you can:
Make your move on your own or in your circle while social distancing.
Ask friends and family to sponsor you.
Arrange to pick up a “Walk for the Women” sign to accompany you on your move.
Share a selfie on Facebook or send us a photo. We’d love to post it to our website!
Step 3: YOUR DAY
Choose a day between September 11-13 to move with us.
REGISTER AT OUR EVENT WEBSITE: www.auctria.com/auction/hhwalkforthewomen2020
Hi Friends! It’s a new month, and with every new month we have new needs at the shelter that we’re hoping you could help us with. Sometimes our needs are personal hygiene items for our Residents, or maybe household cleaning supplies that help keep our shelter sanitized and tidy. Maybe our Residents are out of coffee – and you know how helpful it can be to have a morning cup of java! We have many needs for our Shelter at different monetary giving levels. Would you please take a look of our August Needs List, and consider partnering with us to continue to offer a home of hospitality and success to our Residents? Thank you!
Another great way to send donations to Hospitality House is through our Amazon Wish List! You can help support homeless women from the comfort of your couch in just a few clicks, Amazon will even deliver the donations for you so you don’t have to leave your house! Go to:
January 12, 1938 – June 3, 2020
Don was a driving force in bringing Hospitality House into being.
In the 1990’s, the Seattle Presbytery convened a team to address homelessness. Rev. Charles Kothe, pastor of Lake Burien Presbyterian Church and a member of the Presbytery’s Social Justice and Peacemaking Committee, invited churches in the Highline Community to participate.
Don, chair of LBPC’s Social Justice Outreach Committee, became a leading member of the Hospitality House Steering Committee, along with representatives of 10 founding churches. He worked tirelessly with others, attending Burien City Council Meetings and hearings, completing applications and paperwork required to establish a shelter, fundraising, writing Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation, doing outreach in the neighborhood… a comprehensive undertaking. Initially many in the community were hostile and belligerent. One woman in particular, upon learning that LBPC was seeking to be a site for a homeless shelter, sent out letters and posted notices in the local Post Office that read in part: “HOMELESS SHELTER COMING SOON NEXT TO YOUR HOME – PROPERTY VALUES DECREASE…INCREASED PERSONAL DANGER.” She urged people to come to a meeting the Steering Committee planned to present the shelter plan. About 80 people attended. The crowd was hostile, belligerent, confrontational and it did not go well.
Don continued the work despite the initial anger and unpleasant resistance encountered. Over months community support increased, the public hearings became positive and Hospitality House came into being, opening its doors October of 2000. It was not the end for Don: He became the first Hospitality House Board president.
It was not the end for Don: He became the first Hospitality House Board president.
He and his wife, Lee Weber, have continued to support HH for the past 20 years in various capacities. A Boeing electrical engineer by profession, Don had wide interests and many wonderful adventures with his family. But it is his belief in and commitment to social justice, in word and action, that has made immeasurable difference for hundreds of women who have sought safety and shelter.
Hospitality House is grateful for
Don’s life and his work.
He will be missed but leaves behind a legacy.
Our sincerest condolences to Lee and Don’s family.
Soroptimist International is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training necessary to achieve economic empowerment. Their mission is to ensure women and girls have the resources and opportunities to reach their full potential and live their dreams. So, it is no wonder why Soroptimist International of Seattle South, has been a longtime Partner and supporter of Hospitality House in our mission to help homeless women find home, health, and hope.
“The hardest part of my week is finding a safe place to be when the shelter is closed.”
years, Hospitality House has been essential to our Residents in helping them
regain a sense of place. It is impossible to consider one’s personhood apart
from place. A person’s sense of belonging, livelihood, and community are often
what cultivate the context of place. This place is where a person typically
calls home. For the 90 days that our Residents are in our program, their sense
of “Home” is found in the physical location of Hospitality House. The problem
that many of our Residents faced was that “Home” at Hospitality House was only
open all day Monday-Friday. Our Residents had to seek shelter elsewhere during
the daytime hours every weekend. Some of
these shelter options were not the safest environment. Our residents work diligently all week long
to achieve the requirements of their goal work… often times, they would say,
“The hardest part of my week is finding a safe place to be when the shelter is
We have a budget to keep our shelter open 24 hours a day, Monday – Friday. While an open shelter 5 out of 7 days is good, it still was not an ideal situation for our Residents as they were still in need of shelter on the weekends.
This year, Soroptimist changed this dynamic by stepping up and meeting the needs of our Residents head on. After hearing the worries, concerns, and hardships that our Residents faced regarding the stress and anxiety of finding somewhere to be on Out Days – Soroptimist took it upon themselves to make a difference. When one of their generous donors gifted Soroptimist a substantial monetary gift to be used toward the empowerment of women and girls – Soroptimist decided to designate those funds to Hospitality House. Soroptimist saw the need of our Residents and responded in a very tangible way. With this amazing gift, Hospitality House was able to hire a weekend staff to keep our doors open on the Saturdays and Sundays during harshest months of the year. Soroptimist provided Hospitality House with this covering, and we in turn were able to cover our Residents entirely during these months. The difference was undeniable. Our Resident recipients were rested, refreshed and ready to work each week.
A few weeks ago, we received a note from the Soroptimist International of Seattle South Vice President, Sharon Mann saying, “We feel Hospitality House gives women the security to feel safe and empowered to excel. Without the safety of shelter, life comes to a standstill because it takes all of one’s energy to find safety. In addition, Hospitality House provides resources to women helping them find a path to their future. This all aligns with the mission and vision of Soroptimist. Many of us have either faced or have come close to facing the same situations these women are experiencing. We understand the sheer terror of feeling helpless and hopeless. We as a community need to uplift one another and that is what the partnership between Hospitality House and Soroptimist does.” These words came on the heels of the exciting news. Soroptimist will be partnering with us this year, by committing to meet the needs of our Residents once again.
Sometimes, we all just need someone to save the day. Soroptimist saved our weekends!
Our Donations Needed List has been updated for July.
COVID-19: During this time, donations can be dropped in front of the shelter door, or at the top of the stairs leading down to the shelter. Please knock or call ahead of time so that staff can collect all donated items. We want to ensure the safety of our donors by practicing proper social distancing.
Remember it’s easy to shop on AMAZON and have your donations delivered directly to Hospitality house! Click the link to view our wishlist: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1BMTT8YXQ8TJI?ref_=wl_share
THANK YOU ALL for your ongoing dedication to end homelessness and for everything you do to support the women of Hospitality House.
Mother’s Day just wasn’t the same this year. There were no warm hugs, family gatherings or special dinners out. Rather, we blew Mother’s Day kisses from the other side of pane glass windows or sent our love through virtual Zoom or Facetime visits. The entire community was separated by a virus that had paralyzed an entire planet: Covid-19. Now in its 111th day here in Washington State. Just one more bump in the road to homelessness. Just one more loss of control.
For the nine homeless women sheltering in place at Hospitality House, Mother’s Day 2020 was especially non-eventful. One gal was sitting at her sewing machine, making face masks for whoever needed one. Another was searching the internet for leads on affordable housing. Others were completing their assigned House chores—unloading the dishwasher, vacuuming, disinfecting countertops and all touchable surfaces. It was just another day in the Life of Covid-19.
Then came a special invitation to the courtyard, where staff and ladies from the Thursday morning Bible Study groups at John Knox Presbyterian Church had provided a lavish Mother’s Day Brunch. There was sparkling cider, mini zucchini quiches, pasta salad, cranberry-orange scones—and incredible mini Italian cheesecakes atop an orange shortbread crust, filled with roasted strawberry sauce and finished with a fresh strawberry slice and an edible gold leaf. Wow!
“This is one Mother’s Day I will never forget. Thank you for your generosity and thoughtfulness.’ ~ Jennifer
“Your kindness has meant more than you’ll ever know. At this time of transition and quarantine it’s nice to know that I am not alone.” ~ Katie
Brunch was just the beginning. Knowing that housing and employment plans are best executed when a client’s physical and emotional needs are being nourished, the gals from John Knox Church also filled colorful bags with gifts for the mind, body and heart—from coloring books, journals and movie passes to cosmetics, eye masks and sleepy time tea.
When Hospitality House Executive Director Sheenah Randolph was asked how the brunch went, she merely replied: “They cried tears of joy.”
Hospitality House is so grateful for John Knox Church for making Mother’s Day special for the women staying with us this year.