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.
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.
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.
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.
One night a year, when we gather for the Spring Fling, the light of the Hospitality House family is magnified. It is undeniable. The night is illuminated by your kindness and generosity. It is a night we love to share with you!
We wanted nothing more than to set a new date for the Spring Fling. We wanted to celebrate 20 years of helping homeless women find home, health and hope with the very people who made it possible.
It has become evident, that we simply can’t come together. When everything is uncertain, everything that is important becomes clear. As family, we want to keep you safe – you are too important to risk.With the Spring Fling being our largest fundraiser of the year, bringing in over $50,000 annually – we will still need your help to keep our doors open during this critical time.
We will be having an online auction April 2- April 5, 2020. I hope you will join us for Spring Fling 2020: 4 Days of Virtual Giving.
All of our auction items will be available online to purchase and you will be able to Fund-The-Future by making a donation. We will also be filming parts of the Spring Fling program to share with you – including our client speaker!
We will post additional details soon. However, if you’d like to take a sneak peek of our auction catalog – just click the link: https://www.auctria.com/auction/hhspringfling2020online
You cannot start bidding yet, but you can start perusing and planning!
Our online event does not require a ticket. We hope you will use this as an opportunity to invite more of your circle into the Hospitality House family. Please feel free to share our auction link via email or on your social media platforms.
Since we are not able to hold the event, I am offering ticket refunds for the next 30 days by request. If you are able, I humbly ask you consider making your ticket purchase a donation to the House.
We know everything is uncertain but it is clear you feel the women we serve are important. Please continue to light their path with your generosity –they need you, to be safe.
We love our community, want everyone to be safe, and in keeping with recommendations by King County Public Health, the Hospitality House Board of Directors has made the decision to postpone the Spring Fling Fundraiser scheduled for Saturday, March 7.
Our new date will be announced soon and tickets will be automatically transferred. We look forward to celebrating our 20th anniversary when it is safe for everyone take part. We appreciate your understanding as we prioritize the needs of the greater community and will be in touch soon with more information.