Jordan School Early Act Students Partner to Help Our Participants

Jordan School Early Act

Students and faculty members from Jordan Catholic School in Rock Island joined forces with us last week to improve the Central Community Circle neighborhood and help our participants. Members of Early Act, a service club for 5th and 6th grade students that is sponsored by the Rock Island Rotary Club, gave their afternoon to garden work in the Central Community Circle Neighborhood Garden. Shelter is located in the neighborhood and maintains a small garden in the CCC Neighborhood Garden.

Prior to their volunteer work, Early Act students discussed homelessness and the importance of housing in their own lives.  Then they discussed Humility of Mary and the hundreds of lives we touch every day. They looked for a way to help and planned their own project.  The students decided to grow vegetables and flowers from seeds into seedling plants. During their afternoon of service, with the support of Wes Frenell, Shelter’s Permanent Housing Lead, they prepared the Shelter garden plot land. Then, they planted the garden with seedling plants and seeds they contributed. Wes and several of the Supportive Housing participants undertake the shelter plot to provide meaningful and productive activity and healthy food.

Jordan School

Students feverishly prepare the ground to plant their seeds and seedlings. Participants will add to and enjoy the fruits of these labors.

In addition, the students distributed mulch donated by the City of Davenport on the back slope of the CCC garden. This will prevent soil erosion and will protect the integrity of the rose bushes that beautify the neighborhood. Billie Greenwood, the garden coordinator exclaimed: “The garden hasn’t looked this good in several years!”

Jordan School Support

Principal Mr. Jacob Smithers, who accompanied the group, pitched in and worked also, along with faculty members who drove the students to the site in vans they borrowed from the local Catholic Alleman High School.

The Early Act Club is self-supporting and meets twice a month under the guidance of attending faculty and Rotarian advisors. According to the school website, they carry out service projects annually for their school, local community, and/or one which furthers international understanding. In addition to this day of outdoor garden work, the students also volunteered at the Spring Fresh Start Sale, a fund raising event that benefits our participants.

Thank you Jordan Elementary, City of Davenport, Wes, and all who are helping make our neighborhood safe, beautiful, and fun for all!

Act club members smiled with accomplishment after beautifying creation in the CCC Neighborhood and at Shelter.

Traffic calming lights installed in Shelter neighborhood protect participants

stop sign

A set of flashing STOP signs creates a calmer intersection at this busy pedestrian crossing.

We’re pleased that new flashing red lights are installed and in action on the stop signs at the 6th Street, Vine Street and Ash Street intersection of the Central Community Circle neighborhood. We’re particularly grateful to Alderman Marion Meginnis, Alderman Kyle Gripp, Davenport Public Works Director Nicole Gleason and Brian Schadt of the Davenport Public Works Department for their collaborative work on making our neighborhood more pedestrian friendly. The City of Davenport is continuing to consider methods to calm traffic and protect public safety at this difficult intersection.

Humility of Mary has a lively presence in the neighborhood, as it’s the location of our Shelter, several apartments of permanent and temporary housing, and our Fresh Start Corner Closet

This intersection bears heavy pedestrian traffic because the Café on Vine, the Corner Closet and the CCC Food Pantry located directly on three of the corners with an Ecumenical Housing Development Group apartment building on another. During two nonconsecutive morning hours last October, a neighborhood observer counted 158 pedestrian crossings. Traffic calming lights make a difference, neighbors are reporting.

Traffic calming lights are one component in creating a safe environment that promotes neighborhood stability and housing. John De Taeye, Humility of Mary Director of Development, interfaced with city officials to draw attention to this neighborhood’s need. John says, “Neighborhood safety is key to neighborhood stability. And with neighborhood stability we can generate more homes for persons and families of all income levels and abilities.”

Day of Caring 2018 Renewed Shelter, Invigorated Quad Cities

Created with flickr slideshow.
On Thursday, April 17, in addition to 15 volunteers working in our Fresh Start Donation Center, 110 volunteers from John Deere, Midland Communications, and Russell Construction joined forces and spread out across Davenport in the United Way’s Day of Caring 2018. Volunteers worked at three of our 16 Humility of Mary Housing homes, the Humility of Mary Shelter, and the Humility of Mary Housing offices.
In just a few hours the groups showed the transformational power of putting our hands and hearts together to make positive change!

Day of Caring 2018 Accomplishments

The groups mowed, trimmed bushes, weeded, and cleared  brush. They planted new native grasses, seasonal and perennial flowers. Volunteers spread mulch and re-striped a parking lot. In addition, they also cleaned the Shelter’s floors, bathrooms, laundry room, washed windows and common areas.
The Spring Day of Caring volunteer projects across the Quad Cities included reading with students at elementary schools, spending time and playing games with kids, staffing a mobile food pantry, helping at a financial literacy fair for high school students, creating a greenhouse at a school, beautification projects, and much more.
Our thanks to everyone who came out to lend a hand!
day of caring 2018

Team of volunteers from John Deere deep clean the day room of our Shelter on the United Way Day of Caring 2018,

QC Housing Advocates Press Conference Notes National Housing Week of Action


Having survived homelessness, speaker Sheila Parker-Wilson led the group in the chant “We need the keys” as she held a model home key.

press conference

Concerned housing advocates speak at press conference

Today, housing advocates for low-income people in the Quad Cities held a press conference to bring more attention to the affordable housing crisis in the community during the 2nd annual Our Homes, Our Voices National Housing Week of Action.

The Shelter and Transitional Housing Council of the Quad Cities (STHC), a coalition of many local nonprofit groups, convened the media to announce their new Lunch and Launch series entitled “Quad Cities Housing Solutions.” The series will bring together local stakeholders in the housing situation to generate solutions.

During the week of May 1-8, advocates from across the country are coordinating activities to raise awareness around the need for greater federal investments in affordable homes and community development. Local advocates across the Quad Cities STHC insist that all people deserve an affordable home. No one should be forced to give up food and basic healthcare to keep a roof over their heads.

Speaking to this today were representatives from local nonprofits, public schools and a formerly-homeless mother. The event occurred Sister Concetta Park at 11 AM.

In Davenport and across the nation, far too many families– including low income seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, and families with children – struggle to keep a roof over their heads or are experiencing homelessness. More families are renting their homes than ever before, and our nation’s investments in affordable housing have not kept pace. As a result, rents are increasing everywhere. But, because of underfunding, three out of every four families in need of housing benefits are turned away.

More than one out of five Scott County families spend more than half of their monthly income on rent. The acceptable standard is to spend no more than a third of monthly income for housing. The local housing reality is that our neighbors are truly one illness or accident away from being evicted for inability to pay their rent. This forces them into homelessness.

Need for National Housing Week of Action

Jasmine Campbell, John De Taeye

Jasmine Campbell of Family Resources, John De Taeye of Humility of Mary Shelter and Housing

Last year, advocates and Congressional champions secured a 10% increase to federal investments in affordable housing. But threats remain. A proposed federal budget will slash affordable housing by $11 billion compared to current levels. This would increase homelessness and housing poverty in our community.

John De Taeye, Development Director for Humility of Mary Housing and Shelter and  MC of the event summarized the message:

“Instead of reducing our nation’s investments in affordable housing, we need to make a bold and sustained commitment to ensure that everyone has a safe, accessible and affordable home. Because when we invest in affordable homes, we invest in people, our communities, and America as a whole – from increased employment and economic mobility to improved health and better education.”

Lunch & Launch Series will investigate “Quad Cities Housing Solutions”

Lunch & Launch

Series will involve local stakeholders in generating solutions to affordable housing need.

The Shelter and Transitional Housing Council of the Quad Cities (STHC) announced today a Lunch & Launch series entitled “Quad Cities Housing Solutions.” Local advocates and concerned citizens from various sectors are invited to participate. The series’ goal is to bring more attention to the affordable housing crisis in the Quad Cities and to generate solutions.

These gatherings aim to generate local solutions to the national housing crisis. Over the next several months, STHC will convene small groups of stakeholders. They will include representatives from the real estate, legal, faith, civil rights, policy, and human service communities of both Iowa and Illinois.

The Lunch and Launch sessions will take place at Sister Concetta Park. This private park is located at the corner of 6th and Warren Streets in Davenport, IA, only a few blocks from Humility of Mary Shelter. The first session of Lunch & Launch is scheduled to begin June 7. The series will culminate with a final report in January 2019. Humility of Mary Shelter participates in the STHC and plans to invest itself in the dialog series.

Why “Quad Cities Housing Solutions” Needed?

The Gap

The Gap identifies national affordable housing needs.

The National Low-Income Housing Coalition’s March, 2018 report “The Gap” identifies a shortage of 7.2 million rental homes that are affordable to extremely low income households. In Scott County, IA alone, the shortage is just shy of 6,700 affordable homes. This shortage of affordable housing makes families double and triple up in inadequate, unsafe living units. Families and young children must separate so that all members of the family can have a safe place to sleep. It’s also common that some who lack housing must sleep in cars and vans. Others must live in cramped and unsanitary hotel rooms.

A total of 21% of all Scott County families are spending more than 50% of their monthly income on rent. The acceptable standard is to spend no more than a third of monthly income for housing. This local housing reality means that our neighbors in the Quad Cities are simply just one illness or accident away from being evicted for inability to pay their rent. Any unfortunate turn of events can force them into homelessness.

We can do better. For more information on the series, please contact: John De Taeye, Director of Development, Humility of Mary Housing, Inc. at  563.484.6901,

Schedule of Events for STHC Lunch & Launch Series:

Thursday, June 7: In Our Own Voices (Participants and former participants)
Thursday, August 2: Developers, landlords, funders
Thursday, September 6: Legal Aid, Policy makers, Civil Rights
Tuesday, September 25: National Voter Registration Day
Thursday, October 4: Service Organizations, Veterans groups
Thursday, November 1: Health Care, Law Enforcement, Group Care
Thursday, December 6, Combined Sectors

  • FINAL REPORT: MLK Holiday week 2019, January 21 – 25, 2019

STHC Members:

  • Bethany Children and Families
  • Center for Alcohol and Drug Services, Inc. (CADS)
  • Center for Active Seniors (CASI)
  • Community Health Care
  • Christian Care
  • City of Davenport
  • DeLaCerda House
  • Family Resources SafePath Program
  • Goodwill of the Heartland
  • HELP Regional Office of Iowa Legal Aid
  • Humility of Mary Housing, Inc.
  • Humility of Mary Shelter, Inc.
  • Project NOW
  • Rick’s House of Hope – Vera French
  • Scott County Community Services
  • Scott County Housing Council
  • Supplemental Emergency Assistance Program (SEAP)
  • St. Joseph the Worker House
  • The Salvation Army
  • Unity House
  • Vera French

Davenport notes nation’s Fair Housing Act with Housing Symposium

Housing symposiumOn April 27, the Davenport Civil Rights Commission commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act with the “Quad Cities Fair Housing Symposium: Celebrating 50 years of the Fair Housing Act”. Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, keynoted the event.

Humility of Mary Housing and Shelter staff participated in the symposium making important connections with Quad Cities’ policy makers, housing advocates, and service providers. Our determination to increase housing opportunities for persons and families of all incomes and abilities is now stronger than ever.

We have work to do in Davenport and throughout the Quad Cities to increase housing stability and the related benefits that come from a quality and stable “place to call home”. In 2016 alone, 1,559 Scott County residents became homeless. And just recently, Princeton University’s Eviction Lab ranked Davenport the 44th large city in the US with the highest eviction rate per capita.

The keynote address at the symposium was followed by two symposium tracks that focused on reducing trauma associated with their housing crisis and efforts to enforce the Fair Housing Act on a local level. All attendees received an Action Toolkit.

To learn more about Richard Rothstein, watch this interview program. His book was acclaimed in 2017, the year of its publication.

2018 Birdies for Charity: Important funding for us, Boosts your donation

Birdies for Charity 2018

The John Deere Classic gives you a chance to “chip in” with Birdies for Charity.

Support our families who suffer homelessness and make it interesting for you. With the 2018 Birdies for Charity, 100% of your pledged funds go directly to help our mission: alleviating homelessness and helping families in the Quad Cities who have no where to live. The sponsoring corporation, John Deere, covers all administrative fees. In addition, the John Deere Classic, promises at least a 5% MATCH for your donation. For the last four years, they’ve pushed hard and delivered a 10% match! So whatever you can give is increased at no cost to you!

Donate directly at the Birdies for Charity website. Birdies for Charity Donations to both Humility of Mary Housing and Humility of Mary Shelter are being received through #1687 “Humility of Mary Shelter”

Key in: Humility of Mary Shelter (#1687). Donate whatever amount you wish.


Download the 2018 Birdies for Charity form. Complete the form and return it to us. If you’re completing a form from the official Birdies site, please add this name and number as the agency you wish to designate:

1687 Humility of Mary SHELTER, Inc.

Thanks very much for supporting our mission to provide safe lodging for local people facing a housing emergency and a home to those who are in the greatest need in our community.

Humility of Mary Shelter Services Improve Life in the Quad Cities, Help Folks without Homes

homelessness update

Humility of Mary Shelter Executive Director Harvey (right) visits with Local 4 News about the current housing situation in our area.

Our Executive Director Emily Harvey recently visited with Channel 4 news to explain our services to the public. In this short interview, you’ll see the scope of services that help those in need and improve the standard of living here in the Quad Cities.

Is local homelessness getting worse? How many people do Humility of Mary Shelter assist on a daily basis? What services can people receive? What does “success” look like for a person we serve? What would be most helpful? Learn all this and more in just a few minutes by viewing this interview.

Congressman Dave Loebsack Visits, Tours Shelter

Humiity of Mary personnel (l-r) Wes Frennell, John De Taeye, Emily Harvey and Cathy Jordan visit with Congressman Dave Loebsack. (Photo credit: Congressman Dave Loebsack Facebook page)

On February 2, Congressman Dave Loebsack and Staff toured Humility of Mary Shelter. The Congressman listened to participants describe the barriers they face in finding stable housing in the Davenport and the greater Quad Cities. He also thanked Humility of Mary Staff to keep up the good work and encouraged all of us to continue the advocacy for housing stability. Thank you, Congressman Loebsack for your visit!

Humility of Mary Housing and Shelter welcome all policy makers, elected officials, business and student groups to schedule a tour of the Shelter. Please contact John De Taeye at (563) 322-8065 for more information.
Dave Loebsack

Shelter administrators and staff tour Congressman Dave Loebsack through the facility, stopping here at an emergency shelter bedroom. Photo credit: Congressman Dave Loebsack Facebook page.