With Birdies for Charity 2017 We All Win

SHELTER: BIRDIES FOR CHARITYMany Quad City residents participate in the John Deere Open’s Birdies for Charity 2017 program. They support area nonprofits and the people they help. Birdies funding helps us provide hundreds of beds each year for people with nowhere to sleep.

It’s easy to participate! Click through and answer a few simple questions right now:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd1mMKJnyoV0w S01gnkk_jhys5MM6_CGXrTL0mVQF6QA7gVg/viewform?usp=sf_link

Make your pledge of assistance any amount you wish. No matter how much you give, John Deere will add a little more to it. Yes, they expand your donation by 5-10%! And, if you guess the number of birdies the pros will hit, you could win a Lexus lease for two years!

Participating in Birdies makes the tournament more enjoyable to follow. And, it helps our community thrive by supporting our services that put people into safe homes.

You pay nothing until after the tournament.

Go HERE and pledge right away! Thanks for chipping in.

QCJunetopia 3: Artists build Quad Cities community

Junetopia 2017

3 days of arts and music!

QCJunetopia, a 3-day Quad Cities festival event will grace the area for its third consecutive year on June 16-18. A celebration of the area arts communities, the festival is becoming a cornerstone among local artists: musicians, comedians, artists, crafters, filmmakers, and performers of all kinds.

Nowadays, the founders consider it an annual community-strengthening event. Junetopia features dozens of bands, both local and regional. Local artists sell their locally-produced goods. Events occur in local venues. All profits benefit the Humility of Mary Shelter, Humility of Mary Housing, Kings Harvest Ministries, and the Kings Harvest Pet Rescue No-Kill Shelter.

For information on acts, times and tickets: http://qcjunetopia.com/location-information/ A three day ticket is just $25, but you can purchase day tickets also.

Visit the travelIOWA blog for more information about QCJunetopia 2017. Communicate with fans, founders and performers on their Facebook page.

Click the image to view the event poster in readable size:

QC Junetopia 3

QC Junetopia 3 event poster

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!

Letter to the Editor: Public officials should be empathetic

letter to the editor

A letter to the editor is a powerful means of communication.

The following letter to the editor of the Quad City Times appeared on April 29, 2017. It was written by one of our participants in response to statements made by a city leader that cast a negative pall on persons in Davenport who are experiencing homelessness:

There have been concerning statements made in the past two weeks regarding the homeless and facilities provided to assist them.

First of all, may God in his mercy spare you of that situation. However, for those in public offices, whether elected or assigned, that would publicly denounce those who are less fortunate, homeless or otherwise, have no business representing myself, or any other individual in this city of Davenport.

Homelessness is a fact of life, which encompasses all walks of individuals with no prejudice to race, color, status, religion, sex, or creed. To the individual that would use the media to publicly degrade myself, or any other person who may be in a less fortunate position than yourself, all I can say is thank you, on behalf of the person who will replace you in public office.

Common sense should tell us that as concerned citizens, in order to prevent more crimes and destitute situations, there needs to be a place provided to offer some help, guidance, information and encouragement. This center, Timothy’s House of Hope, would offer a positive forum for men, women, and young people to live in a city we are all supposedly so proud of.

Why federal housing assistance is more important than ever

federal housing assistance

Federal housing assistance is a critical need–now more than ever.

Families and communities–like ours in the Quad Cities–need some resources to thrive.  We’ve relied for years, for instance, on federal housing assistance. Grant money from the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Agriculture (USDA) helped vulnerable people find stability by helping them into safe homes. That, in turn, has increased stability to the Quad Cities.

When families have stable, affordable homes, they can find jobs more easily, move up economically, do better in school, and stay healthy. Studies back this up. Affordable housing brings many positive effects. It promotes community development. And it boosts our local economy and our job creation.

Federal investments in affordable housing have already lifted millions of families out of poverty. Actually, five million in 2015 alone! Without help, many would live on the streets or in substandard or overcrowded conditions. Others might go without food, medicine or other basics because too much of their limited income has to pay the rent.

Quad Cities housing today

housing assistance need

Without further investments in low income housing, vulnerable people will lose their footing.

Despite their proven track record, HUD and USDA affordable housing programs haven’t gotten enough funding. What’s happened as a result? Today only a quarter of those who qualify for housing assistance get the help they need. And, the need continues to grow.

More people rent their homes than ever before. Because housing supply and rental assistance haven’t kept up with need, rents are rising everywhere. So, more families spend most of their income just keeping a roof over their heads. Homelessness rates are rising in many communities. On top of that, much of our nation’s affordable housing is deteriorating. What exists often isn’t appropriate for people with disabilities.

It’s not just us in the Quad Cities. Every state and congressional district is affected.

What to do?

We wish there was an easy answer. Since every community is different, so are their housing needs. But, we do know that we have to:

  • save and restore the affordable housing that we do have;
  • create more units of affordable housing for low income families; and
  • increase rental assistance and other programs that help make housing affordable.

None of that can happen without federal investment in affordable housing.

But, the Budget Control Act of 2011 decreased funding for affordable housing and community development programs by imposing low federal spending caps. These spending caps limit Congress’s power to invest in housing solutions. Just one example is that HUD housing and community development funding was $4.3 billion lower in 2016 than in 2010.

Result? It’s harder to house low income seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, and other vulnerable folks. Any further budget cuts—such as those we’re facing in the proposed federal budget–will undermine even more of the federal safety net for housing.

What’s on the horizon for federal housing assistance?

housing cuts bar graph

Federal investments in low income housing, already on the decline, are slated for caps in 2018. Worse, the proposed budget will reduce that further (dark blue bar at right).

Since the Budget Control Act went into effect, Congress made some short-term agreements to increase spending beyond the budget caps. These agreements provided very limited budgetary relief. They also required parity for defense and non-defense spending (cuts to one should mean equal cuts to the other). That helped. It temporarily eased the pressure on affordable housing. But low spending caps will return in the 2018 fiscal year, unless the White House and Congress act again.

The budget cuts that are on the horizon threaten affordable housing and community development investments even further. (see chart, right) And that threatens millions of low income families. We need Congress to lift the spending caps and keep parity for defense and non-defense programs. That will bring the greatest highest level of funding possible for affordable housing.

The Upshot Is…

Yes, we have to work to reduce the U.S. deficit over the long-term. But balancing our budget shouldn’t be done on the backs of our low income families. Instead, we need to invest in the resources families and communities need to thrive. That builds stronger communities. And strong communities build a strong nation.


HMHI will keep you updated on ways you can help create the kind of national policy that will strengthen our nation. Visit our website frequently. We’ll keep you informed on how to protect low income families and strengthen our Quad Cities.

For more information, we recommend A Place to Call Home by the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) of the National Low Income Housing Coalition from which the information in this article derived.

“Helping with Humor” 2017 set for June 4 at ComedySportz

Helping with Humor 2017

This great event uses humor to raise funds to help QCA adults battling homelessness.

Helping with Humor, our annual fundraiser, is Sunday, June 4 at ComedySportz Quad Cities in Rock Island, Il. Tickets are $10. The full proceed of every Helping with Humor 2017 ticket sold will go directly to Humility of Mary Shelter in Davenport, IA. This funds our mission and directly helps adults in the Quad Cities who are experiencing homelessness.

This improv comedy show, which runs from 6:00-8:00 PM, is rated “E” for audience members of all ages. Bring the whole family to this family-friendly event and enjoy the laughs. at 220 19th St, Rock Island, IL 61201–the theater home of ComedySportz Quad Cities.

Comedy effectively raises both community awareness and funding, comments Christie Adamson, Program Director at Humility of Mary Shelter. “We have a lot of fun each year at Helping with Humor,” she commented, “and we would love to fill every seat in the house for Helping with Humor 2017.”

A Team Effort

ComedySportz Quad Cities is the longest running show in the Quad Cities. The program features two teams of comedians battling for points and laughs based on the suggestions of the audience. By the end of the night, you won’t be able to stop laughing. And, your laughs will help a great cause and local organization.

Humility of Mary Shelter, Inc. serves individual men and women experiencing homelessness. They provide shelter, stability, and access to physical and mental health resources for adults in need. Their emergency shelter bed facility operates at capacity year round. Although it receives grant assistance and public funding, some services they provide rely on direct funding through private donations and fundraising efforts.

Tickets can be purchased online here:
https://www.showclix.com/event/helping-with-humor

Or by calling the box office: 309.786.1111

**Please note that all tickets must be paid for in advanced and purchased through one of the options listed above.**

Follow the discussion and invite your friends on our Facebook event page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/681038622104764/

Please join us. You’ll make a difference in our community. And, you’ll have fun!

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.