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.
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!”
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.