Peggy should probably be named the Volunteer of the Decade because she’s been dedicating her time and energy to Hospitality House for the last ten years.
She first served as a meal provider from Lake Burien Presbyterian Church, then as a meal coordinator, office helper, and overnight “house mother” on the weekends. Peggy has always had her hand up, saying, “I’ll be happy to do that!”
When the Board of Directors invited her to join as a representative of Lake B, she put aside any feelings of inadequacy (she saw herself as a doer not a leader), and eagerly tackled her new assignment with a her infectious “can-do” attitude.
Peggy’s dedication and passion for our mission are unparalleled and we are grateful to have her as part of our community. Her optimistic easy-going manner remind us of a quote by inspirational author, H. Jackson Brown, Jr., who penned, “Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.”
Thank you, Peggy!
The Staff and Board of Directors of Hospitality House
“I am still somebody who has a voice, my voice matters.”
Jackie came to Hospitality House after a month of being homeless. Jackie had worked as a para-educator in a local school district over for 15 years. Naturally, Jackie was shocked when she heard that her hours had been cut significantly – making rent impossible to pay. Jackie lost her job, her home, and sense of normalcy in everyday life.
Jackie just needed a place to gather herself – a place that she could straighten out her affairs, prioritize her needs and create a plan of action to get her life back on track. Hospitality House is the place where she believed that could happen.
Understanding Jackie’s desires, her Case Manager honed in on Jackie’s priorities: housing and employment. Jackie worked hard to achieve her Case Management goals each week and spent very little time at the shelter as she was always out accomplishing what needed to be done. After having done the leg work, Jackie was challenged to wait for responses back about housing and employment and needed to trust the process that her hard work would pay off. In the meantime, Jackie and her Case Manager decided it would be wise to volunteer some of her free time at the YWCA. Jackie had expressed previous interest in working with them and knew that there were housing opportunities through the YWCA.
Jackie volunteered faithfully a couple times each week, for a few hours each time. It was through this relational networking with the Issaquah YWCA that Jackie connected with Family Village, a housing program that turned out to be a perfect fit. Jackie applied and was accepted into their program.
This year, Jackie is still living in housing provided by the YWCA. Jackie said she is still in contact with the women who were at Hospitality House while she was here. Soon, she will be moving to Washington DC to be with her daughter and plans to home school her granddaughter.
This month leading up to Thanksgiving Hospitality House is practicing gratitude. We are grateful for all the people who help us operate effectively, for our Volunteers and to our Donors. Our women frequently comment on the variety of donations we receive and express that their needs are properly met while living here. We put out monthly Donations Needed Lists to help ensure that our women continue to receive the items they need to feel at home while they work to find housing and future stability. Below is the Donations Needed List for November, please consider donating an item from this list to Hospitality House.
Welcome to fall! Leaves are turning colors and warm summer evening walks have turned to crisp morning strolls. As the seasons are changing outside, the lives of our women are also changing. Our residents are working hard towards their goals, but they need your help and support to do it! Please consider donating to our shelter by choosing something from our needs list to help our women be comfortable during their stay and to have what they need.
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!
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!