Defeating Stigmas-Alexandra’s Story

“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!

December Donations Needed

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!

Pop over to Amazon and shop our Needs List from home. You can have donations delivered directly to Hospitality House. Go to:

Alternatively, you can buy your Amazon purchases through Amazon smile, which will make direct monetary donations to Hospitality House. Find our more about this here:

Download our Donations Needed list below:

Soup-erhero Volunteer of the Year 2022!

Winnie has been a soup-erhero at Hospitality House for almost two decades!

She’s always around to cover our overnight volunteer needs, and spend 2+ nights a month at Hospitality House.

She reigns soup-reme when it comes to being on top of things, and always claims open shifts on the calendar before we even ask!

Winnie is so steady and soup-portive of residents and staff.

We’re so thankful for you, Winnie! You’re simply pho-nomenal!

November Donations Needed

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?

Or pop over to Amazon and shop our Needs List from home! You can have donations delivered to the shelter without leaving your home. Go to:

Alternatively, you can buy your Amazon purchases through Amazon smile, which will make direct monetary donations to Hospitality House. Find our more about this here:

Penny’s Optimism

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.

October Donations Needed

It’s un-BOO-lievable that it’s already October! This month’s donations needed list is downloadable below, and is full of items requested by our residents! Can you help treat them?

**If you’d like to gift Hospitality House with a little extra at no cost to you, you can make purchases through and select Hospitality House as your chosen organization.

Download a copy of the list:

Grace’s Perseverance

Many of our volunteers got to know Grace as a joyful spirit in the house. She came to us in January after patiently waiting for a bed through half of December. Her sense of humor, willingness to lend an empathetic ear, and desire to help lift up her fellow residents pulled people to her like a moth to a flame.

Grace quickly got to work. She arrived at Hospitality House with a Section 8 voucher and was eager to find a place to call home, work on her relationships with her kids, and start a new phase in life. She was happy to support her fellow residents, sharing resources and phone numbers for potential housing leads. Every time someone got some good news, she was right there to celebrate with them!

Almost two months after Grace’s arrival, Grace took a step back from her search. She saw her fellow residents moving on and questioned why she was feeling like her hard work wasn’t getting her anywhere. Every time she toured an apartment she loved, they would call her back and say someone else snagged it before she did. There was always more paperwork, more phone calls, and more roadblocks. Still, she was hopeful that her time would come.

Finally, Grace caught a break! A week after she decided to step back from the process, she got a call that she was approved for an apartment, and she could move in within days! She immediately began jumping around, singing, and waving her arms. You could see the faces of everyone in the room light up. She persisted through so many hardships, and now Grace is comfortable and thriving in her own apartment.

September Donations Needed

“When you give from the heart, your heart grows!” -Current Resident

It can be easy to forget that your donations are going to real people, real women who need your help. That’s why we ask our residents for a quote monthly that we can add to our donations needed list; it’s a way to connect you directly to the women you’re helping. Everything you send to Hospitality House is for our current and future clients, and there’s nothing sweeter than being able to give a woman the right hairbrush for their hair type , or a sweatshirt that fits just right. More often than not, we’re met with a happy dance when we hand a resident an item she requested! The above quote was given by a resident who was gifted with a wax for her hair. She was provided with the exact product and brand she requested only days after she asked for it. She explained that she needed it to be able to prepare for her job interview with confidence-a job interview which she nailed!

Each donation stands for so much: rest, joy, comfort, peace, empathy, trust, and so much more. Your donations provide that, and we can never thank you enough for it!

Please view the September Donations Needed list below and see if there’s a need you can meet. Remember, once an item is purchased from our wish list in the quantity needed, it disappears from the list.

**If you’d like to gift Hospitality House with a little extra at no cost to you, you can make purchases through and select Hospitality House as your chosen organization.

Download a copy of the list below:

Casey’s Commitment

Casey came to Hospitality House after a room rental with friends didn’t work out the way they planned. She came in and hit the ground running, with set plans for her future. Almost immediately after arriving, Casey was hired on for part time work. She had many goals in mind-how much she wanted to save, when she wanted to begin taking classes, where she wanted to live. Her hard work led almost immediately to her employer offering her full-time hours, then overtime. Casey took on as much as she could without overwhelming herself.

She began to take advantage of benefits her work offered as soon as she could to accomplish things she hadn’t been able to do previously due to homelessness, like getting some overdue dental work taken care of. Her appointments for physical health, mental health, and housing would all happen whenever she wasn’t working, which wasn’t often. Sometimes staff would go what felt like days without seeing her. Without fail, though, Casey would meet with staff for updates, attend the house meeting, and complete house chores. She was often (lovingly) compared to a very friendly, helpful, household ghost!

Near the time when she would be expected to leave Hospitality House, Casey had to have emergency surgery. She worked with staff the entire time, expressing concern over having to be off work so suddenly. Thankfully, her work allowed her to take time off to heal, and we were able to extend her time to aid in her recovery. She didn’t stop doing what she could and would still spend hours each day looking for housing, studying a new language, or prepping for college classes online. Eventually she decided she was in a good place to buy a vehicle, which would drastically cut down on her commute time to work. Once she got the okay to return to work from her doctors, her employer made allowances so as not to push her recovery too hard. After some time back on her feet, Casey was able to save enough to feel confident in moving out. She got even more serious about her search and found a room rental which would make her commute to work even easier. She left Hospitality House with a solid new foundation, and we expect that we’ll see great things from her in the future.