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.
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.
This year, we would like to thank, recognize and honor, Barb
Campbell as Hospitality House’s Volunteer of the year. Each year, we carefully
and thoughtfully assess a long list of incredible candidates that have
positively impacted Hospitality House with their time, talents, and service.
While there were many amazing nominees to choose from – Barb Campbell’s long
standing history of advocacy and investment in Hospitality House is what
confidently moved us to our final decision.
Des Moines United Methodist Church is one of the local churches, that have
partnered alongside 11 other churches to ensure that the Residents of
Hospitality House have access to delicious hot meals every day. Barb has served
as the meal coordinator at Des Moines United Methodist Church for over 12 years.
Not only has Barb served as the Meal Coordinator there, but anytime there were
not enough volunteers to fulfill DMUC’s meal commitments – with no hesitation,
Barb stepped up sometimes preparing an extra two or three meals, on top the
original meal she had already planned to give.
Hospitality House has been successful in coming alongside thousands of homeless
women over the years, because of people like Barb. Barb has worn many hats at
Hospitality House, supporting and championing anything that she believed would
better serve women experiencing homelessness. For example, years ago when times
were changing and society was becoming more dependent on technology and the connectedness
off the world wide web – Barb helped spearhead setting up the launching of Hospitality
House’s original website. Barb wanted to ensure that homeless women had 24 hours
a day access to information to who Hospitality House is, where we are located,
who we serve and all the services we provide. Barb has also chaired the Silent
Auction for many years procuring, cataloging, storing and setting up hundreds
of items for Hospitality House’s biggest annual fundraiser. Not to mention,
Barb actively contributed to policy review and formation, bylaw reviews and
updates – always confirming that the rules, regulations and policies of
Hospitality House stayed relevant and informed by the needs of Hospitality
House’s clients and staff.
We here at Hospitality House are in awe of Barb! We are blown away by how she
has managed to spin so many plates at Hospitality House over the years, doing
it all with style and grace – serving as anything ranging from Board of
Director’s Vice President to an Overnight Volunteer, she’s done it all. For all
of it, we are thankful!
This month Hospitality House had the pleasure and honor to host an Open House at our shelter to celebrate, reflect and dream up new ways for us to continually stand in the gap, advocating and giving agency to all homeless women that walk through our doors.
The open house was a wonderful time of delicious food, remembering and honoring the history and legacy of Hospitality House, and celebrating 20 incredible years Hospitality House and our partners have remained faithful and devoted to helping homeless women access basic needs such as a bed, shelter, food, shower, and a laundry facility. Providing these basic needs coupled with wrap-around support to give each Resident the appropriate rest, space and capacity to start envisioning the life she wants, is all part of our strategy in assisting each client toward reaching her personal goals and stability.
The Open House was a powerful time to be together. Especially, to see the amazing talents of local artist and muralist, Davie Ross. Davie presented her gorgeous mural painted in the courtyard, that is a shared space by the Residents of Hospitality House and the children of the Lake Burien Presbyterian Church’s After School Program. This beautiful mural of a woman embracing a child can symbolize many things to the eye of the beholder – life flourishing, female strength, nurturement, rest, love and an overwhelming sense of hope. Between Davie’s mural and the showcase of her second works a convicting progression piece, displaying the very raw reality of what it is like to be displaced from home, one could not deny the feeling and sense for a call to action.
We are beyond thankful for all who attended our Open House – Volunteers, Donors, Board Members, Friends and especially our distinguished guests: King County Superior Court Judge Marshal Fergauson; and Des Moines City Council Members Traci Buxton, Luisa Bangs and Robert K. Back. This day could not be possible or as meaningful without all of you.
As Davie’s progression piece reminded us all – There is still much work to be done. While we continue to work covering every woman who comes to Hospitality House seeking hope, health and home – we hope you too will continue to be there right beside us, standing in the gap.
Around Hospitality House, there have been many little in-house projects going on to spruce up our space, making Hospitality House even more warm, cozy and welcoming than before. However, one particular project that took place right outside of our shelter, (but absolutely needs to be highlighted) is our new gate!
Alex Lucero from Lake Burien’s Eagle Scout Troop 360 – took it upon himself to do a project that he thought would help increase the security and privacy of our clients. Part of being “Hospitable” here at Hospitality House, has a lot to do with how we provide a sense of safety and security for our Residents. While we do a great job covering those bases inside our shelter – it took a special person like Alex to note there was some work that could be done outside our shelter, too.
Alex put together the blueprint, collected all the materials, and rounded up all the help he was going to need to complete his project. Not only did he build our amazing gate (which has significantly cut back on all the random public foot traffic that used our walkway as a shortcut to access the streets we’re sandwiched between), but his team also took the time to stain and restore the old fence lining our walkway – so all the fencing could match our new gate!
For that, we just wanted to say a BIG “Thank you” to Alex for all his hard work to help keep the Women of Hospitality House safe!”
It is with a mix of sadness and gratitude that the Hospitality House Board of Directors announces the departure of Natalie Reber, our long-time Executive Director. Natalie will be assuming the role of Executive Director for Family Services CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), an organization of volunteers who support and advocate for children involved in custody and dependency cases. She begins her new position at the end of June.
Natalie Reber joined Hospitality House in October 2008 as Executive Director with a background rich in political activism and advocacy and continues to educate herself on social justice issues. She completed her law degree in 2014 and was honored as a 2013-2014 Student Fellow at the Global Justice Center of Seattle University School of Law and was also appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to serve as a board member to the Washington State Advisory Council on Homelessness from 2013 to 2017.
Natalie has taught and mentored board members, fostered strong community support, strongly advocated for her staff, and has represented the shelter statewide. She leaves Hospitality House on firm financial footing. Most importantly, Natalie has tirelessly worked to create and maintain a safe, supportive space for women to find permanent homes and the assistance they need and to regain control in their lives to realize their personal goals. We sincerely thank her for all of her contributions, endless dedication and leadership during her tenure as Executive Director.
Natalie leaves Hospitality House in a very strong position for future growth with her close mentorship with our current Program Director Sheenah Randolph, who has been with our organization since 2011. We are very pleased to announce that Sheenah has been selected by the Board of Directors to become the new Executive Director.
Thank you, Natalie!!!
All meal coordinators, board members, and current/former volunteers from HH are invited to say farewell to Natalie Reberthis coming Monday, June 25th at 6:00pm at St. Francis Church Unity Place.
Please bring a dish to share.
Please RSVP by this Sunday, June 24th, so that we know how many places to set.