Yesterday we were all elated to hear the news about Washington State reopening! After over a year of lockdowns and restrictions, this is a big step forward. Although we have reached a substantial percentage of fully vaccinated residents in the state, the pandemic has not gone away.
Public Health has directed homeless service providers to maintain their mask policies. As a result, Hospitality House will continue to enforce mask-wearing for all visitors, this includes office and overnight volunteers regardless of vaccination status.
Hospitality House works with a vulnerable population of homeless women. Where many of us can social distance and can keep our surroundings clean, the women we work with have less control over their environments and often come from congregate settings where proper mask-wearing and hygiene practices are not always up to standard.
We thank you all for your understanding as we work to protect the women that we serve. We hear time and again how grateful our women are for the staff and volunteers of Hospitality House, and our residents are deeply touched by how they are supported by those who do not even know them.
Thank you again for all of your support, the Hospitality House community is truly amazing.
Happy Holidays! Christmas is a time for family, loved ones, and gift giving. Hospitality House is getting in the Christmas spirit as well! December 1st is when we hold our annual Christmas decorating party and spruce up the shelter with festive ornaments for Christmas. Christmas time is typically when we receive the bulk of our donations that we use for the remainder of the year. Check out our December Donations Needed List below for some ideas about what to donate:
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.