Solstice event 2017 celebrates resiliency and success over homelessness

summer solstice success celebrationThis year the Quad-Cities will celebrate its first Summer Solstice Event 2017. Entitled “From Darkness to Light: Honoring Success and Resilience,” the June 21 gathering celebrates people who overcome homelessness. As a community we’ll also affirm that we can end homelessness for everyone. Local organizations who assist people experiencing homelessness are hosting the Quad Cities Summer Solstice Event 2017.

The event will gather around a potluck meal. The Center, located at 1411 Brady Street in Davenport, IA hosts the event from 11:30 AM until 1:00 PM. The Center and Humility of Mary Housing and Shelter will provide a main dish. They ask participants to bring a potluck dish to share. This sharing reaffirms our local commitment to provide safe shelter and housing options for anyone in need.

Summer Solstice Event 2017 Participants

The local event targets members of the Quad-City Shelter and Transitional Housing Council, Quad-City Area service and advocacy organizations. Faith leaders, business owners, elected officials and members of the public are all encouraged to attend. We are stronger together as we support those in need.

The celebration of summer solstice originated nationally by the National Healthcare for the Homeless Council. They organize events in Miami, New York City and Baltimore. This initial event in the Quad Cities joins the energy in these metro areas.

Summer Solstice 2017 Origins

December 21 is the Winter Solstice, the first day of winter and the longest night of the year. Homeless Person’s Memorial Day events that day honor individuals who have lost their lives while enduring homelessness. Similarly, a new corresponding effort is arising on June 21. That day is the Summer Solstice, the first day of summer and longest day of the year. US cities are celebrating those who have overcome homelessness on that day. We affirm that we can end homelessness for everyone.

Homelessness is not permanent. It is not a condition that defines the rest of a person’s life. It is easy to become homeless. But, it’s no easy task to break out of homelessness. People without homes face many systemic barriers. These range from the high cost of housing to low wages and inadequate public assistance programs. All these factors are complicated by poor health and poverty.

Nevertheless, some people surmount these great challenges and reclaim stable, healthy, and productive lives. So, we honor their accomplishments and draw inspiration from them as we continue the struggle for housing justice and human rights.

For more information contact Michael Gayman [The Center 563-505-5621] and/or John De Taeye [Humility of Mary Housing and Shelter 563-484-6901].

Local woman’s final wishes reflect her values, gratitude

Sleeping Woman

Sleeping Woman by Charles Ray (2012)

by John De Taeye, Development Director

“Everyone should have a place to lay their head”. 

Each month we are grateful for the outpouring of financial support we receive from Quad City Area businesses and residents. This month, one contribution was particularly moving. The family included the explanation for their contribution.

As a middle-aged mom and wife approached her final days on earth, she shared reflections of the many blessings of her life in a note to her family. The note read as a personal beatitude. She concluded with the following:

“Blessed to have a lovely home. I can sit and see the outside – – it provides a lot of comfort. I have a place to lay my head when I don’t feel well.

Everyone should have a place to lay their head.”

Humility of Mary Housing and Shelter believes no matter our circumstances in life, we all should have a safe, clean, and healthy place to lay our head at night.

  • very low-income families in a community with limited affordable housing options…
  • veterans returning home with little family support and war-related PTSD…
  • persons with severe mental and physical health challenges…
  • families fleeing violent situations in their home country, community, or within their own homes and it feels like there are no options

Everyone should have a place to lay their head

Shelter helps restore urban garden, improves neighborhood

urban gardeningHumility of Mary Shelter and Housing is working with the Garden Growers of Scott County, The Cafe on Vine, and neighborhood residents on revitalizing vegetable and

urban garden

Clean up underway

flower gardens near 6th and Vine. With the support of John Deere volunteers as part of the United Way’s “Day of Caring” we planted a large vegetable garden which Humility of Mary staff and participants will maintain. The produce will go to families in the neighborhood as well as Cafe on the Vine.

During the three hours of Day of Caring, we were able to uncover an amazing rose garden planted many years ago by Sister Marilyn Schierbrock, a member of the Humility of Mary congregation. The rose garden will be cared for throughout the year!

Urban Garden Benefits

The April 2017 Urban Institute Paper “Urban Blight and Public Health” reminds all of us that our vacant and blighted lots are potential treasures:
“More and more research continues to show that urban greening, the landscaping of urban spaces for the benefit of the community and environment, can be an effective intervention for improving the well-being of residents. . . urban greening projects can also help rebuild community pride, reduce stress, lead to decrease in crimes, and provide a perception of safety.”
One person at a time.  One family at a time.  One block at a time.  We all have a role to help our neighbors.
clearing overgrown rose garden

Wes Frenell, Humility of Mary Shelter staff, attacks overgrowth to clear the rose garden.

Meet Volunteer Tony: Tireless, loyal worker

Volunteer Tony

Tony works at Shelter several times each week for almost three years.

Meet Tony, a regular volunteer here at Humility of Mary Shelter. Tony volunteers several days a week to work inside the Shelter, taking care of anything we may need to keep things running smoothly.

Tony has been volunteering for the past 2 1/2 years, and started volunteering after he retired from his job at Performance Food Group (Formerly TPC). He appreciates the mission of Shelter, and donates his time in an effort to do his part in helping those that are experiencing an episode of homelessness to get back on their feet. His wife is also an associate of the Sisters of Humility, so it was an easy decision to aid the sisters, and to give back to the community.

Tony originally came to us looking for a position with Humility of Mary. Unfortunately, there was at the time, no opening in the Agency, but that didn’t stop Tony. He simply volunteered his time instead, and continues to do his part. He likes contributing to Shelter, because he enjoys knowing he’s helping to house people. And, he knows that his work contributes to the bright light at the end of the tunnel for many of our participants.

Please help us in recognizing Tony, and his tireless efforts to keep our Shelter clean, stocked, and running smoothly. His dedication is amazing, and he is truly an inspiration.

Thank you, Tony, for all that you do!

Undocumented immigrants are welcome at Shelter

IMMIGRANTSPeople experiencing homelessness who are also unauthorized immigrants face extreme marginalization. Some undocumented immigrants come to the United States fleeing violence, political unrest or environmental disaster. Others hope to rejoin family, escape a life of poverty or seek opportunity and freedom. For most, our broken immigration system gave them no legal way to come here.

All migrants are separated from the bases that normally support survival: home, family and community. So, they may have an increased risk of homelessness. Many undocumented immigrants don’t know their rights and fear deportation. Because of this, some are reluctant to seek housing assistance when they need it.

But housing is a human right. Immigrants have rights to some housing programs that get funding from the federal government. Here at Shelter, no potential participant is required to produce–or even asked for–verification of their citizenship status.

Shelter complies with the federal Personal Responsibility And Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), a welfare reform legislation passed in 1996. According to PRWORA, Shelter, as a nonprofit charitable organization providing federal public benefits, we aren’t required to verify the eligibility of program participants.

Since we don’t have to ask about immigration status, we don’t. In this way, we—and other nonprofits like us–can help create a safer environment for immigrants who are seeking services.

Immigrants: Current Political Climate

Since President Trump signed executive orders on immigration policy, immigration officials can pursue and prosecute more undocumented immigrants. Last month, several undocumented immigrants leaving a hypothermia shelter located in a church in Virginia were apprehended. Shelters around the nation want to protect the rights of at-risk clients. And they want to be ready for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) actions.

ICE still adheres to a “sensitive location policy.” It prevents immigration enforcement actions like arrests, interviews, searches and immigration-only surveillance at certain places. This includes schools, places of worship, hospitals, public religious ceremonies, and public demonstrations without prior approval–unless some circumstances create urgency. Note that those apprehended from the Virginia shelter were taken when they were across the street, off the church property. A shelter like ours is not exempt.

Humility of Mary Shelter Privacy Policy

At Shelter, we don’t give out information about the individuals staying with us unless they have specifically signed a release of information permission statement for us to keep on file. This is because we believe people have a right to privacy. In many cases this anonymity is necessary to protect them from potential abusers or other people who may take advantage of them. But, beyond that, we simply believe people have a right to privacy. We don’t have the right to take that from them.

However, we do depart with our privacy policy in the case of a request from local law enforcement, cooperating with law enforcement if a participant is suspected of criminal behavior. Shelter doesn’t regard undocumented citizenship status in that same category. We are committed to protect individuals staying with us from deportation. We have always maintained an outstanding relationship with the Davenport Police Department and will continue partnering with them to keep our community safe while still remaining committed to protecting individuals from being deported.

 

 

New Shelter Donation Hub to Open February 1

donation hubHumility of Mary Housing, Inc. (HMHI) will serve as the donation ‘hub’ for all Humility of Mary agencies including Humility of Mary Shelter effective February 1, 2017. All donations that we previously received here at Humility of Mary Shelter (HMSI) at 1016 W. 5th St. Davenport will now only be received at Humility of Mary Housing (HMHI), on 3805 Mississippi Ave. in Davenport [MAP].

Donations can be dropped off Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. At this time, we are only able to accept donations during these hours, as this is when we have staff available to accept them and sort them out. We encourage those who are unable to come during these available hours to partner with someone else that is donating, or wishes to donate, and have them bring your items with them.

By creating a central hub we can provide all our donors one convenient location for donation drop offs. This will save agency staff time and create some much-needed space for program expansion here at Shelter.

Donation Hub Needs

helpWith the expansion at Shelter and ongoing needs at Housing we anticipate a tremendous shortage of furniture in the coming months. We need small couches or loveseats, 2-4 seat dinette tables with chairs, nightstands, chest-type dressers, microwaves and table lamps. If you have any of these items to donate, please bring them to HMHI donation center.

A monetary donation of $144.00 can purchase a bed for a person experiencing homelessness. Donations can be made online on our website, by mail or by taking them to the Shelter or the new donation center. If you mail or take a Shelter donation to the administrative center or donation ‘hub,’ be sure to indicate that you intend it for us at Shelter.

We also accept donations of adult clothing, dishes, pots and pans, towels, sheets, pillows, accessories, etc. Please see this list on our website for a complete needs list.

If you have any questions, about donations, contact Patti Trapp, the Volunteer Coordinator at Humility of Mary Housing, Inc., 3805 Mississippi Avenue, Davenport IA  5280 or phone 563-326-1330. Thank you for your ongoing support!

Holiday Gift Project 2016: YOU make a difference!

holiday gift project 2016An open invitation from Christine Adamson, Director of Services at Humility of Mary Shelter, Inc.

The holiday season is fast approaching and we are preparing for another cold winter.

Your previous contributions have helped make Humility of Mary Shelter, Inc. a place where people can start over and move forward. We are so grateful to you for the support you provide those experiencing homelessness in our community.

You are helping our staff touch the lives of hundreds – whether people are facing an urgent need like emergency shelter or seeking to improve their quality of life.

Humility of Mary Shelter, Inc. is your community shelter. We exist to serve you and your loved ones in a time of crisis – to provide housing, healing and hope.

Your gift this year is extremely important because it offers immediate support that will be directed to current needs for our programming.

Donating to our Holiday Gift Project or giving a financial contribution will help make a tangible impact this season on those in our community who have no place to call home. Our entire staff and Board of Directors – everyone here who works to serve those struggling, joins me in thanking you for your generous partnership and support.

Listed below is our annual Holiday Gift Project and our needs this year. It is downloadable HERE.

Whether you are donating to this project or making a financial contribution, our doors are always open. I would love to meet each of you, give you a tour of our facility and talk more about the services we provide. There is an enormous amount of important work being done here every day to make our community a better place for everyone.

Your donation this holiday season will let someone know that people care, and that our community supports them during a difficult period in their life.

Thank you so much for your help.

With warmest wishes for a joy-filled holiday season,
Christine Adamson
Director of Services

Holiday Gift Project 2016

Click image to download a copy.

Shelter Opens Clothing Room, Needs Volunteer Help

clothing room

Shelter participants flocked to the new clothing distribution room on its first day of service.

Humility of Mary Shelter, Inc. today opened a new clothing distribution room that will provide a regular Shelter service. A room immediately inside the Shelter entrance is outfitted with an inventory of neatly folded and sorted donated items: clothing clearly marked with size, hygiene selections and other practical items. Each Monday and Wednesday mornings from 9 AM until 11 AM that room is open for all in need to select items they can use.

“The price is right,” exclaimed one delighted woman, “because everything is free!”

Many supporters in the Quad Cities area bring used clothing to the Shelter. This new clothing distribution system will get items to those who can use them more effectively. While current and past Shelter participants are eligible to receive these items, the room is also open to anyone in need.

Help Wanted!

Today Shelter staff oversaw the distribution of clothing, but they’re hoping for local volunteers to help says Jason Rockwell, Director of Shelter Operations.

“Basically, we just need someone here to see that the clothing remains neat. And a volunteer will let us know what inventory items we need to replenish at the end of the morning,” explained Jason.

“People can volunteer on a regular basis, like every Monday or every other Monday, or on a one-time basis, such as once a month.”

The room monitor will ensure that just two “customers” at any given time can select the items they need. The room is only about 150 square feet, so the two-at-a-time policy gives people the space they need to make those selections comfortably.

Clothing Room Equipment

Next week, the room will also have shelving to hold shoes. That’s in process. But, looking ahead, Jason also sees a need to provide outwear for the cold weather that’s coming.

For that, the Shelter set up a Wish List on Amazon.com, hoping to receive three commercial racks on wheels to hold winter coats. One of the three has been donated—and it’s already in service! The racks cost about $60. Jason is hoping that two more donors or groups will contribute one.

winter clothing rack

Shelter has received one of the three racks for winter clothing that they need. Donors can easily donate via Shelter’s Amazon.com Wish List. The first rack is already in use as volunteers prepare for coming winter weather.

Shelter supporters can also contribute anytime via PayPal. They can set up an automatically recurring donation on a regular basis. Monthly donations are especially important. They supply a regular, reliable source of funding.

The new clothing room saw constant use today. So, if the first day is an indicator, it appears to be a popular and useful service.

Humility of Mary Shelter: Insider Voices

Administrators, staff and participants explain what Humility of Mary Shelter means to them in a video that shares insider voices. And, they also share the Shelter’s importance to the Quad Cities Area community, in this video.

Humility of Mary Shelter provides emergency housing for single adults experiencing homelessness in the Quad Cities. Perhaps you’ve not yet had the opportunityus at Shelter. This video gives you a virtual visit, allowing you see parts of the facility, meet service providers and hear the testimony of those who are assisted.

You and/or your group or organization are welcome to visit. Do call and arrange a tour and talk. We will be happy to make you aquainted with our work. We’re all members of the Quad Cities Area community, and your support is vital to us.

 

Coffee: Critically needed

coffee: critical need

Coffee: if you need it, you need it. And, at Shelter, we really need it now for our day shelter participants.

Our day shelter is safe and climate controlled, but has few amenities. The one “frill” we offer the people who come here during the day–and also in the evening–is the comfort of a warm cup of coffee. We rely completely on outside donations to keep our pot in operation. Sometimes we receive an influx from a drive sponsored by a group or congregation. But every influx eventually depletes.

And so, today: our shelves are empty.

With coffee creamer and sugar

Our people aren’t fussy. They don’t demand any certain trademark or designer type. Any ground beans with do. Bring any size–the bigger the better, of course.

To really make someone’s day, a donation of ground sugar or nondairy creamer can turn that black brew into a real treat.

We really would appreciate your donations. Thank you!