It’s February! It would mean so much to us if you’d be our valentine and show our residents even more love this month. Please visit our Amazon Wishlist and check our our Donations Needed list for updated house and resident needs. It’s also the last month to donate an extra .5% of your purchase (at no extra cost to you!) through AmazonSmile!
Happy New Year! We hope that your year is full of health, hope, and joy. Thank you for standing by our side in 2022 and being part of our resident’s journeys!
Hospitality House plans to serve many more individuals in need in 2023, and we can’t do that without you. Please check out this month’s donations needed list to help us continue providing home, health, and hope to women experiencing homelessness!
Noelle arrived at Hospitality House having never experienced homelessness before. A loving grandmother, she was staying with her daughter and a grandchild for several months at a discounted rental rate for providing childcare. All was well until her daughter’s partner moved in and the situation turned toxic. Due to her living situation becoming increasingly volatile, Noelle called Hospitality House to seek shelter. Noelle was a self-described people pleaser, though, and with a little convincing from her daughter, Noelle decided to turn down a bed with Hospitality House when it was offered.
Months later, Noelle called again. She knew that enough was enough and that she needed to stand up for herself and do what would move her forward. She moved into Hospitality House ready to receive the help she deserved. During her time here, Noelle met with our Case Manager to determine goals, receive advice, and discuss next steps. She had been on several housing lists for a few years, but nothing had come up quite yet. With Connie’s case management assistance, Noelle was able to get her Social Security benefits increased and develop a better sense of what type of housing was available to her.
Her dream home is in West Seattle, within walking distance to a few grocery stores, and near the schools her grandchildren attend. She would love to be close enough for them to visit for lunch! While the perfect housing opportunity did not come up during her stay at Hospitality House, another one did. A former contact offered her free rent for an apartment in Seattle through January in exchange for performing cleaning services. With a Seattle address, Noelle’s housing prospects grew. A requirement of Seattle Senior Housing is that the potential resident must currently reside in Seattle. Prematurely exiting from Hospitality House wasn’t an easy choice but Noelle knew it was a step in the right direction for longer term housing options, and a bright future.
“I never thought I’d be the person sitting with my stuff on the park bench being stared at.”
That’s what our client, Alexandra, told staff days into her stay at Hospitality House. She said that when someone approached her in a local park and asked what business she had there, Alexandra didn’t even know they were speaking to her because she didn’t “look” homeless with only a backpack and a few essentials.
Following separation from her partner and attempting to pay off debt, Alexandra found herself experiencing homelessness for the first time. Alexandra explained to staff that after her experience in the park, she realized that she was holding onto stigmas surrounding homelessness.
Many people have an idea of what homelessness can look like. There’re actually quite a few options around for a “drunk beggar,” “hobo,” or “bum man/woman” Halloween costume, which just reinforce the idea that you can identify who is experiencing homelessness by looking at them. If you saw one of our clients outside of Hospitality House, you’d never know they were experiencing homelessness. They have jobs as a desk worker at a hotel, an intern at a holistic wellness center, a nanny. They wear name brand clothes and own cars. Alexandra was enrolled in college classes during her entire time at Hospitality House, had a gym membership, and participated in a work study program through school-not exactly fitting the idea of a “bum woman” Halloween costume.
Alexandra stayed at Hospitality House until she found a two-year transitional housing program that has a special focus on students and women re-entering the workforce. Before leaving HH, Alexandra said her time here reshaped her understanding of homelessness and those who are working through it. Homelessness doesn’t have a certain look, and it doesn’t care what you’ve accomplished in life, or what you’re working toward-it can affect anyone, at any age, at any time. Hospitality House is here to meet residents like Alexandra where they are and help them find their footing and prepare them to thrive!
While Santa’s elves are hard at work preparing for another Christmas, the ladies of Hospitality House are busy making calls to apartment complexes, checking wait lists twice, and hoping to find a home for Christmas. We ho-ho-hope that in between decking your halls and getting holly jolly, you can find the time to check our December Donations Needed list to provide our ladies with a little extra comfort and joy!
Penny was a resident who really had just come across hard circumstances. She graduated with her associates in human services just two days before coming to Hospitality House. Penny also worked full-time. Her longer-term housing had fallen through when she was moving from one lease to another, which put her in a tough financial spot. She was a few thousand dollars in debt due to a landlord insisting she had to pay the remainder of a lease, so she came to Hospitality House.
Penny was an all-star resident. She was completely reliable when it came to contributing to her share of house chores, worked 5 days a week, and would babysit for a family member on the days she wasn’t working. Despite her living situation and how busy she was, Penny remained quite optimistic. She had been homeless before and she remained confident that this time, it would also be temporary. Sure enough, things started looking up for her. Two weeks into her stay at Hospitality House, Penny received the happy news that she did not have to pay off the remainder of the lease as she had been told previously. It would save her thousands! Only a short time after this, she disclosed her situation to a trusted coworker. This coworker was also struggling with finances due to high gas prices and rent, so the two decided they would help each other. Penny was offered a place to stay with her friend, and the two could carpool to work together to save on gas money.
Penny was not one to settle. She still had her own place in mind, and she knew that staying with a friend could only be temporary. Only two months after her arrival at Hospitality House, Penny stopped in to say hello and share that she had a studio apartment close to work lined up! She expressed how grateful she was that Hospitality House was able to provide her with a period of rest while she figured some things out. Penny is doing even better than before, planning to work toward a bachelor’s degree, and continuing optimistically on her journey.
Thanks to our donors, we get to practice gratitude year round! This month especially, we’re grateful that our donors give our residents the ability and the safety net to ask for help. It’s not a handout, it’s a hand up. It’s one less thing she has to worry about and all she has to do is ask. What an incredible gift! The bond of trust built between you and our residents may be invisible, but it is strong. Thank you for building that bond stronger and stronger with every donation.
Please view our donations needed list for this month below. Are you able to meet a resident’s needs this month, and contribute to strengthening her trust in her neighbors and community?