Nina’s Success!

Nina came to Hospitality House in early March. She previously lived with her mother a few hours away from Seattle, but after a conflict, Nina ended up in the hospital and without a home to return to.

The hospital social workers and a case manager helped Nina find a place for her here at Hospitality House. She arrived with only her laptop and the clothes she was wearing. Aside from having a bed to sleep in, she was most excited to have internet access so she could work on a coding program.

Nina acted as a source of peace in the house. She began looking at apartments immediately after her arrival, and spent time daily working to meet her education, mental health, and housing goals. Every morning she would make her bed, have some breakfast, and set up in the living room. A chair by the door to the room became “reserved” as her space. It was an unspoken rule that everyone respected without issue. A former shelf worked perfectly as a desk for her laptop to sit on. She would perch it on the arms of the chair, borrow a mousepad from the office, set up her laptop, and flip between reading comics, watching shows, learning to code, and apartment hunting. Residents would ask her for help with email or their phones, and Nina would happily oblige before quietly returning to her tasks. She became the house tech support, sometimes even helping staff.

Nina quietly worked away stationed in her “office” for two months. Slowly but surely, things began to come together for her. She began receiving food stamps. A studio in Queen Anne popped up in her price range (with the help of Catholic Community Services, or CCS), and then some timely donations. A regular donor happened upon some brand-new dining room chairs, then a desk became available, then a new mattress! After about two and a half months here, Nina was able to move into her new apartment, and had received so much support and donations, CCS needed to bring a van to transport all of her belongings.

During her time at Hospitality House, Nina diligently worked away at meeting her goals. She respected her roommates, encouraged them, and was always pleasant to be around. She is enjoying her new apartment and having her own space and is hoping to find a programming job to put her skills to use. Nina has a bright future ahead of her, and we are glad to have been part of her journey.

Bonnie’s Journey

Bonnie came to us for a second time in July. She had complaints of arthritis which affected her mobility, as well as a couple of mental health diagnoses, a history of domestic violence, and a past of substance abuse.

Bonnie was taking care of her mom full time which began to affect Bonnie more and more. It seemed that she was losing hope with each passing day. Eventually the stress of being homeless, disabled, and caring for her mother became too much. Bonnie relapsed after 4 years of sobriety and was exited from Hospitality House for substance use in November.

Bonnie came back to Hospitality House to pick up her mail a few times after her exit. She told us she was getting sober again, but it was a process. To top it off, her belongings being stored in her car had gotten wet and mildewed, so she was low on clothing, funds, and toiletries. Bonnie told staff, “I hit rock bottom, but the only place I can go now is up. I’m going to keep trying.”

As you know, we have been working with a Rapid Rehousing pilot program. Once a resident leaves Hospitality House, they don’t automatically exit the RRH program. Luckily, Bonnie had been established with the RRH Case Manager before she left Hospitality House and they were able to continue their work together. In February, three months after her relapse, Bonnie and her RRH Case Manager shared the best news we could have received: Bonnie found help to get back on the path to sobriety, she moved into her own apartment, and she would be receiving rental assistance for life!

Our hopes for our residents don’t end when they leave Hospitality House, or even when they find housing. A relapse can happen at any moment, or a health crisis, or a pandemic. We hope that each resident can take the tools they’ve learned here at Hospitality House to rise as high as they can. To arm themselves with knowledge so they are prepared for what comes next. To ask for help when it matters most. Bonnie didn’t find housing during her time here, but she found her strength and power within herself to keep pushing forward. Now she gets to reap the benefits of her hard work, and we get to celebrate her.

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I’ll rise.

-Still I Rise

Maya Angelou

Client success stories: Linda*

Linda was a homeless woman who was living in her car for a month before she came to Hospitality House. She had a past marred by drugs, domestic violence and jail, not to mention having battled significant mental health issues. When it all added up, the odds of success were not in her favor. Hitting rock bottom, losing custody of her children was the sobering awakening she needed to want to truly turn her life around and get a new start. She just needed a starting place, and Hospitality House was it.

Linda had been sober since early this year, but being homeless, just out of jail and living in her car made it difficult for her to rest, eat, do laundry, and focus on how to establish stable housing to get her kids back. Linda’s story and hope for change was one that easily moved our staff to action.

Each week, Linda met with her case manager to discuss a plan to help get her closer to her goals. Linda was directed to a local human services organization to help in her housing search. This move allowed Linda to see all the housing options that were available to her that fit her personal criteria. This was a game changer and her chances for a fresh start in a new home seemed possible.

Linda worked diligently down the list of low-income housing properties, applying to her prospective housing options. With constant check-ins, guidance and accountability from her case manager, Linda was able to push forward with her goals toward housing. She was also able to sort out her legal affairs, find sobriety support and get her mental health needs in order. With Linda’s sights set on the big picture, she was taking care of all the little details to ensure that nothing could hinder her from reaching her goal.

Imagine the thrill, joy and pride that Linda showed when she got the confirmation that she been approved to move into the apartment at the top of her “Hope List”! With the determination and tenacity she showed in making this dream come true, we are confident she will work just as hard, if not harder, to ensure that this may be the place that one day, her children too, may be able to call this place home.

* At Hospitality House, we respect everyone who comes to us for help – and many are working toward a fresh start in life. So while their stories are true, client names and images may have been changed to protect their privacy. Thank you for understanding.

Client Success Stories – Leah*

On her first night at Hospitality House, Leah appeared detached from reality. She was unresponsive most of the time, and when she did speak, she had the tendency to slur her words, or was agitated and defensive. When dinner arrived, she sat down to eat and kept falling asleep in her food. The women were concerned about her health and mental stability, and staff kept a close eye because they did not know whether they would be able to accommodate her high needs.

A few nights into her stay, a staff member went into the kitchen to do a look-over after lights out and Leah was awake eating. The staff member struck up a casual conversation with Leah who opened up about her children in foster care. This was the first coherent conversation that someone was able to have with her and was enough to confirm that she continue her care here at Hospitality House.

The following day, staff followed up with Leah to determine if she became sedated by her prescribed medication and responded that it was unusual for her and that she was having a difficult time with the medication adjustment prescribed to her; she explained that one of her doses had been changed. Leah’s medication dosage was lowered, and as a result she became more cognizant and easier to communicate with. Her medication change allowed room for staff to accommodate her specific needs. Over time, Leah’s demeanor changed and she was able to relax, and her anxiety levels decreased. Her positive attitude began to carry over the remainder of her stay at Hospitality House. On one of her last days at the House, Leah told a staff member how she had felt supported by the staff and would miss the House after she left. During her last case management meeting, Leah expressed that she felt she had made significant personal progress. She said that her counselor noticed she was less anxious and Leah reported that the voices in her head were less frequent and more manageable.

Leah exited to another shelter program and is continuing to work towards stability. Shortly after exiting Hospitality House, Leah called staff and was asked how she was doing. Leah responded with “Oh you know, I’m doing okay, but this isn’t Hospitality House.”

With donors like you, we can help more clients like Leah, who need a place like Hospitality House that provides that extra bit of support, and an attentive environment to determine what their needs are and get them the help they need.

We wish you all the best, Leah!!


* At Hospitality House, we respect everyone who comes to us for help – and many are working toward a fresh start in life. So while their stories are true, client names and images may have been changed to protect their privacy. Thank you for understanding.

Client success story – Janet*

Before arriving at Hospitality House, Janet stayed with different friends and family since becoming homeless a few years ago.  Janet explained that alcohol abuse was at the core of her homelessness and while she had periods of sobriety, she had not been able to maintain it long enough to move forward.

As part part of her case plan at Hospitality House, Janet established professional sobriety support, began working with a sponsor, and attending AA meetings weekly.  After several weeks, she reported this was the first time she felt strong in her sobriety.  Janet realized she wasn’t able to do it on her own and needed the support.

Janet worked closely with staff to focus on finding clean and sober transitional housing, as she felt this was the next logical step.  Janet interviewed for many Oxford Houses (transitional housing for recovering addicts) but each time, another applicant was chosen.  Despite this, Janet maintained a positive attitude and just kept applying.  Her housing search eventually led her to a local transitional house for recovering addicts, where she will be renting a room for the next year.

* At Hospitality House, we respect everyone who comes to us for help – and many are working toward a fresh start in life. So while their stories are true, client names and images may have been changed to protect their privacy. Thank you for understanding.

Client success stories – Eva*

Our success story that we’re sharing today has to do with safety nets – how we at Hospitality House help create them for our clients, so that they can focus on their immediate needs, and not feel so bogged down trying to juggle them all at once.

When Eva* came to Hospitality House, she had been homeless multiple times over the last two years.  Eva lost her long-term job in 2015 and relocated to the Seattle area.  Finding employment took longer than Eva anticipated and she became stuck in a circle of temp work.  Without permanent full-time work, Eva wasn’t able to find permanent housing. Without temp work, Eva was not able to maintain a weekly motel rental.

At intake, Eva reported she had two interviews in the upcoming week.  She explained that not having the burden of paying for housing allowed her to schedule time off from her temp position.  Eva received permanent, full-time offers from both companies.  She settled with the company which offered the most overtime and opportunity to advance.

Eva worked closely with her case manager to find housing. Initially, Eva focused on apartment rentals but ultimately decided on a room rental. Eva thought it was important to save money and create a safety net for herself.  Eva said, “Don’t get me wrong I like Hospitality House, especially the food, but I don’t want to come back unless it’s to volunteer.”

We wish Eva all the success and hope she will return, this time as a volunteer!

*name changed for privacy.

Client Success Story – Dana*

Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash

Dana* came to Hospitality House a few weeks after being released from prison.   The sequence of events that led to her incarceration traces back to many years of heroin addiction. While Dana was sober and had served her time, she often struggled with the shame she felt about her past choices and doubted she deserved a new life.

In a case management meeting, Dana was urged to establish mental health services and soon after began working with a counselor bi-weekly.  Dana began incorporating coping skills and self-care practices into her daily life. Over time, she began to understand that she didn’t have to let her past define her future and she deserved more than her present circumstances.

Dana worked diligently on finding housing and was open-minded about any and all options presented. Dana identified that the most critical piece of establishing her long-term stability was to gain employment. She was aware with gaps in her employment and criminal history that this would be especially challenging. Her case manager connected her with an employment program for additional support, and dedicated several hours a day to her employment search. She attended job fairs, searched online, and followed up on every lead given to her. Eventually, she began to get interviews, often several in the same week.

Dana allowed her actions to speak louder than the voice of self-doubt in her head. By the end of her stay, she gained full-time employment and was accepted into a 2-year transitional housing program. A few weeks after exiting, Dana stopped by for a visit. A bit choked up, she shared she will forever be grateful for Hospitality House because we provided her a safe, supportive place without judgment, which allowed her to blossom.

We wish you all the success, Dana!

*name changed for privacy

Client Story: Tracy

Tracy came to HH after she and her husband were evicted from their apartment.  Tracy lost her job due to health issues and both incomes were needed to maintain housing. Tracy had recently begun a new temp position but it wasn’t in enough time.

Tracy held a warehouse position over the holiday season.  She worked over 50 hours a week due to mandatory overtime. Tracy has a diagnosed back issue and this was a physically demanding position.  She would often come in hunched over and proudly boast, “I worked 13 hours today. I’m sore, tired, need my heating pad but it’s worth it.”  Tracy had a budget, established payment plans for past due bills, and held herself accountable for it.  Almost every payday she gave an update on how many payments were left on different bills.

In mid-January, Tracy was made a permanent employee. She explained she knew, if she just worked hard something would happen.  She was right.  Tracy and her husband have rented an apartment together.

Deanna’s Story


For the last sixteen years, Deanna has either been unstably housed or homeless.  Deanna abused drugs for most of her adult life and explained this is what primarily lead to the first ten years of her instability.  Deanna was in and out of jail, staying in motels, and explained the uncertainty in her life didn’t bother her because she was so deep in her addiction.

Deanna’s last criminal conviction led to a lengthy sentence.  Deanna explained she had a lot of time to contemplate her life and committed herself to making changes.   Deanna sought out mental health treatment and began actively working with a therapist. She completed a chemical dependency program in 2010 and has been sober ever since.  She explained that while she was sober, finding housing was difficult because of her criminal history, poor credit, and having a low income.

Deanna stayed with her adult daughter for five years. Deanna didn’t have a room and wasn’t on the lease. Deanna explained while she was able to help with rent, she always felt like a burden.  When her daughter decided to move, Deanna didn’t have anywhere to go.

Deanna came to Hospitality House with a strong determination to continue down the positive path she was taking. Deanna attended therapy, mental health & sobriety groups, and chemical dependency counseling regularly.  She explained that even though she had been sober for six years, she needed ongoing support because she was breaking a lifetime of addiction. Hospitably House provided Deanna with the support and structure she needed to stay on course.  She had ongoing case management services and onsite counseling.  She participated in workshops and immediately incorporated her new found skills into her daily life.  It is safe to say Deanna’s confidence and self-esteem grew immensely during her stay.

Deanna had applied for a housing voucher in 2010.  Just after she entered our program, she found out she approved. Deanna was anxious about looking for an apartment.  She wasn’t sure the best way to organize her search or how to present herself in a favorable light.  Deanna worked closely with Hospitality House staff and received guidance willingly.  She spent countless hours researching and calling apartments.  Her diligence paid off because for the first time in sixteen years she had the keys to her own apartment and complete independence.

Brenda’s Story

Even though she had lived in a transitional housing facility for over a year, Brenda was unsuccessful in securing permanent housing. As a result, she ended up using her disability income to stay in a motel for two months prior to entering our shelter.

Brenda suffers from severe rheumatoid arthritis which limits the mobility in her arms, hips and back. Even the basic self-care tasks most of us take for granted could be quite difficult for her, making it hard to clean house, cook, walk to the bus stop or climb the steps to board the bus.

After assessing her needs, we helped Brenda apply for Seattle Metro Transit’s Access bus service which provides door to door transportation with special accommodations for seniors and people with disabilities.  We also modified her chore duties allowing her to do her part to help keep our home clean and contribute to the daily structure of our program.

When the opportunity arose for her to secure a studio apartment, Brenda became fearful and concerned that she wouldn’t be able to manage. We discussed her options and together made a decision to ask DSHS to evaluate her for their Aging and Disability Services Program. Reassured that we would follow up until she secured the level of care she needed, Brenda accepted the much needed housing.

On moving day, our Director, Natalie Reber, handed her a big surprise – one of the Starter Kits lovingly put together by volunteers from each of our supporting churches. These kits are filled with dishes, various kinds of everyday necessities and even a few fun items to help the women get started in their new homes. Brenda, with head held high and face beaming with delight, stepped out of the door of our shelter that day!

A few weeks later, she called ecstatic to share the good news that DSHS had approved home care services to help her with grooming, errands, and house cleaning as well as monitor her changing needs. What a joy it was for us to see the transformation that took place. Clearly, Brenda now had a new lease on life!

In Brenda’s words:

You promised you would try and you sure didn’t let me down. No one ever bothered to explain all of this to me before, so I didn’t know I could get this kind of help. Now, because you took the time to do this, they’re going to send someone out to help me on a regular basis so I can live in my own apartment and keep it nice and clean just the way I like it! Isn’t that something? I’ll never forget what you did for me. God Bless Hospitality House for being there for me when I needed it!