Roman Catholic Bishop Zinkula Visits Shelter

Bishop Zinkula

Shelter Program Director Christie Adamson tours Bishop Thomas Zinklua through the Shelter. (Photo: Barb Arland-Fye) )

On October 30, 2017 Bishop Thomas Zinkula visited and toured the Cafe on Vine, our neighbor and partner that provides free afternoon lunches to our neighbors and participants,. During his time at the agency, the Bishop chatted with lunch guests and community leaders, greeted volunteers, served hot meals, and helped clean tables during the regular afternoon lunch.

October 30 Shelter Visit

Following the visit at the Cafe, Bishop Zinkula took a brief stroll with Sister Mary Ann Vogel, CHM and other neighbors. Next on his agenda was a tour of our Humility of Mary Shelter, located just one street south. There, staff familiarized him with the work of the Shelter.

Bishop Zinkula assumed his leadership role in the Davenport Roman Catholic Diocese in June 2017. This event marked his first official visit to our CCC neighborhood.

Bishop Zinkula at soup kitchen

Bishop Zinkula goes into the kitchen of the Cafe on Vine with Waunita Sullivan, Cafe on Vine Director. (Photo: Barb Arland-Fye)

We welcome Bishop Zinkula to Davenport and look forward to his ministry with all of us!

Your Christmas giving will brighten lives

Christmas giving

Shelter’s Christmas giving program gives you the chance to made a difference for someone at Christmas time.

As the season of giving approaches, everyone looks forward to Christmas. We have opportunities for you to make a difference to a stranger in need this season.

We at Humility of Mary Shelter would like donors to provide $20 gift cards specifically from Dollar Tree Stores. Dollar Tree Stores are close to Davenport bus routes. Gift cards will allow Shelter participants to choose their own Christmas present. Why would we promote this? It’s for an important reason: for people experiencing homelessness, life feels very out of control. By gifting them with a gift card, you provide not only a gift but also the ability for them to choose what they want. This becomes a ‘hidden’ gift: restoring a bit of control over their own lives to people who don’t have a home.

Humility of Mary Shelter will need 175 $20 gift cards from the Dollar Tree for their participants in both the emergency shelter and the veterans programs. We are hoping that the public will help us make Christmas merry for all of our program participants.

Christmas giving for those who love children

Humility of Mary Housing would like to provide presents for their families with children. The theme for their Christmas giving is: Something that I want, Something that I need, Something that I’ll wear and Something that I’ll read. Registration to sponsor one family this Christmas is underway. To sponsor Christmas presents for a family experiencing homelessness, contact Patti at 563-326-1330. She will find you a family that matches your ability to give.

Practical Details

Santa needs to plan his route! So, we’d like to receive Christmas donations by December 11. Bring all donations to 3805 Mississippi Ave. in Davenport from Monday to Friday between the hours of 8 AM-4 PM. For questions and clarifications on the Christmas giving programs for Humility of Mary Shelter and Humility of Mary Housing, call Patti at 563-326-1330.

Humility of Mary Shelter and Humility of Mary Housing to Merge

merge

Humility of Mary Shelter is slated to merge with Humility of Mary Housing.

Humility of Mary Shelter, Inc. and Humility of Mary Housing, Inc. are merging. The goal is to fully integrate operations of both organizations by July 1, 2018. Combined, Humility of Mary Housing, Inc. and Humility of Mary Shelter, Inc. have worked to secure safe, stable housing for 5,952 adults and 2,442 children in their respective histories.

With the decision to merge, the Board of Directors of both agencies remain committed to the social justice principles on which the Congregation of the Humility of Mary sisters established both organizations.

In December 2016, members of both agency Boards established a unified board. A Transition Team consisting of Board members and staff began to work with consultants Patricia Shea and Chuck Roberson to identify key issues related to the merger process.

In August 2017, the Unified Board signed a two-year contract with Mission + Strategy, a Chicago-based consulting firm specializing in mergers and consolidations of human services organizations.

Agencies’ Histories

In 1987, Sisters of the Congregation of the Humility of Mary met with community leaders and residents to discuss pressing social justice issues and community needs. This group considered the need for more housing opportunities for the very poor and homeless. On October 7, 1989, the Sisters organized a Quad City pilgrimage to Washington, DC to participate in the National March to End Homelessness. They joined tens of thousands, marching to protest the shortage of decent, affordable housing.

The Sisters returned to Davenport intent upon making a difference in the Quad Cities. A year later they established Humility of Mary Housing, Inc. Over the years it grew, providing housing and services to single parent families.

Almost 20 years later, in 2008, residents of Davenport learned the John Lewis Shelter needed significant building improvements and faced steep financial problems. Without an operator, the shelter would close within 30 days. Following an urgent community-wide meeting of local stakeholders, the Sisters considered a possible role. With the promise of Quad City financial support, the Congregation formed a new corporation. Humility of Mary Shelter, Inc.opened on September 21, 2008. With the help of supporters and donors from the Quad City area and across the country, it has remained open every day since!

Agency leaders are confident that the merger builds upon the foundation of the 1989 pilgrimage to Washington, DC and all subsequent work and progress. The struggle to provide decent, safe and affordable housing continues.

Thank a Quad City Veteran for Veterans Day

thank a veteran

Show your appreciation to a Quad City veteran for Veterans Day. We’ll make it easy for you.

We are commemorating Veterans Day on Friday – Saturday, November 10 and 11.  Humility of Mary Shelter offers housing and supportive services for 25 Veterans and their children through our Veterans Accessing Long Term Opportunities and Resources (VALOR) Program and 13 Veterans at our Shelter.  We pray for the safety and well-being of all current members of the armed services and their families.
We also encourage you to reach out to Veterans participating in Humility of Mary programs.  Please send a card of thanks, support, encouragement, solidarity to our Veterans.  You can send cards to “Dear Veteran” c/o Humility of Mary Shelter, 1016 W. 5th St., Davenport, IA 52802 ATTN: Christie Adamson, Director of Programs.

Support our CROP Walk Team

Support our CROP Walk team

Now’s your chance to let us walk for you to feed the hungry: October 1, pledge now.

Humility of Mary Shelter is organizing a team to participate in the 2017 CROP Walk on Sunday, October 1.

We’ll walk six miles along a path that stretches through neighborhoods on both sides of the Mississippi River. Walking six miles puts us in solidarity with the one billion people in developing countries (mostly women) who walk 6 kilometers each day for fresh water.

One quarter of the amount raised by QC Teams stays here in the Quad Cities to support QC families – – with 4% coming directly to the Humility of Mary.

The CROP Walk offers another opportunity to be in solidarity with the world community in our shared commitment for justice and access to resources.

How to Support Our CROP Walk Team

  1. Click here:  crophungerwalk.org/quadcities
  2. Select:  “Donate to a Team”
  3. Choose: “Humility of Mary Shelter”
  4. Fill in your contribution information.

We encourage all recruiters and walkers to visit and like the QC CROP Walk Facebook page to stay up to date with QC CROP Hunger Walk news. #qccropwalk

We’ll walk for you! Pledge for our team and make a difference in a hungry world. Thank you!

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.