Local bike ride, chili lunch to support local veterans in need

military appreciation rideWieblers Harley-Davidson of Davenport has planned to honor and express appreciation for all US military personnel and veterans on Saturday, November 5. This special day’s activities will include a military honor ride lead by the American Legion Riders Post 569, a chili lunch, and more.

Registration for the ride will begin at 9 am at Wieblers Harley-Davidson at 5320 Corporate Park Drive in Davenport (52807). Participants are asked to make a donation of $10 per person. All proceeds will benefit the Humility of Mary Shelter of Davenport Veterans Services to assist local veterans in need.

Wieblers plans to send the bikes out at 10 am. The ride will return by noon for a free chili lunch, serving until it’s gone.

“We are looking forward to partnering and having the Humility of Mary Shelter as part of our event that day,” remarked John Riley, Wieblers events coordinator.

Cathy Jordan, Program Lead for the HMSI VALOR Program, expressed appreciation to Wieblers for their generous spirit. She hopes that the event will attract a good number of attendees.

Veteran support

Shelter’s VALOR [Veterans Accessing Long-Term Opportunities & Resources] program serves very low-income U.S. military veterans and their families who don’t have homes or who are in imminent risk of losing their housing. VALOR staff at Humility of Mary Shelter help program participants remedy these housing problems. Further, VALOR helps veterans address issues that led to their housing crisis. They focus on veterans who live in Scott, Muscatine and Clinton Counties, Iowa and Rock Island, Henry, Whiteside and Mercer Counties, Illinois.

The American Legion Riders of Post 569 have assisted Wieblers for years in support of veterans causes.

Humility of Mary Shelter really appreciates this community show of support that Wieblers has initiated. We encourage all local bikers to participate in the events of the day for the military honor ride.

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.


“This is so exciting! This is why we do this work. It’s for days like today.”

apartment for chronically homeless

“Joe’s” camping gear is piled on the floor of his new apartment as he prepares to spend his first night indoors in his new home.

by Christie Adamson, Humility of Mary Shelter Director of Program Services

This month, Humility of Mary Shelter launches a new program to extend permanent, supportive housing to ten adults who are experiencing chronic homelessness. They have lived without a real home for over a year or have repeatedly experienced homelessness across the last several years. On May 3, the first designated program participant moved into his own apartment. Christie Adamson, HMSI’s Director of Program Services, describes the event and its significance:

Today we moved in the first of the ten we’ve selected. Joe’s* one of the guys who refused to come off the streets to sleep in our Shelter. He’d been coming to Shelter and engaging with us during the day, but he wouldn’t stay overnight. He had his camp.

We’d planned for him to meet us here at the Shelter at 8:30 AM. But, when I arrived at 6:30 AM this morning, he was already here! He said: “I’ve been up since 4 AM. I couldn’t sleep.”

Joe has two camp sites at different locations in the Quad Cities. He told us a couple days ago that he wasn’t tearing them down, because he couldn’t believe that we were really going to hand him keys to his own apartment today.

Well, he had a ton of gear since he’d been sleeping outside for so long. He couldn’t carry it all. So, three of us went with John in the Shelter van to get his gear:

  • Cathy Jordan [VALOR Director: Veterans Accessing Long-Term Opportunities & Resources Program], who’d initially developed rapport with John (who’s a vet),
  • Joe, who’ll be Joe’s new service coordinator.

And, I drove.

At a certain spot, Joe told us to pull over to the side of the busy road. He hopped out of the van, jumped a ditch, and disappeared into the woods. Soon, he returned lugging six army bags, and he quickly went back for five more. Apparently, he’d stashed his gear to be ready for this moving day. He’d packed up all his belongings and moved them from his campsite way back in the woods. And, he hid his things close to the road, so we could pick it all up.

Moving Day

bedroom for man suffering chronic homelessness

The bedroom is simple and plain. This bed will offer Joe his first night’s indoor sleep in six years.

This morning, when I first saw and greeted Joe in the Day Room, he responded, “Are you here to tell me that it’s not going to happen?” That was the first thing he said! He feared that I was coming to tell him that this apartment wasn’t going to happen. That’s how disillusioned he is with the system! The system hadn’t worked for him. It never had been simple like this is, with us just saying: “Here are your keys. We only need you to sign a couple papers and then we’ll see you in a week.”

During entire process of moving him in today, he kept anticipating that there’d be many hoops he had to jump through—people to see, therapy to attend. But, the reality is: he can’t mess this up. He just needs to live in the house and keep it to a landlord-acceptable standard. A service coordinator will meet with him to give support, but this program is flexible. It’s designed to help people with severe needs. There are no hoops he must jump through.

So, this is why we do this work. It’s for days like today. I’m excited. And, it’s exciting for the Quad City community!

*Name changed to protect confidentiality

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!

ComedySportz teams with Shelter to present Helping With Humor

Helping With Humor

ComedySportz presents Helping With Humor to benefit Humility of Mary Shelter on May 20m 2016.

On Friday May 20th at The Establishment in Rock Island, a comedy show will turn laughter into dollars for local adults experiencing homelessness at Humility of Mary Shelter. At 7 pm, the longest running show in the Quad Cities, ComedySportz, will offer two teams of improv comedians competing against each other for points and laughs. They’ll donate forty percent of all ticket sales the Shelter in a fundraiser that’s become an annual favorite. The show is rated E for Everyone, and everyone is encouraged to come contribute to a much needed service in our community.


ComedySportz staff invited HMSI employees to join them on stage at a previous program.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with ComedySportz again this year and look forward to all the laughs” says Christie Adamson, Director of Services at Humility of Mary Shelter, Inc.

Humility of Mary Shelter, Inc. provides 83 beds nightly in an overnight emergency shelter for adults who face an urgent housing need. It also manages a day shelter from 8:00 am until 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday, offering both Humility of Mary Emergency Shelter participants and members of the Quad City Area civic community a safe, climate-controlled and monitored environment. The day shelter offers an indoor common space that’s furnished with tables and chairs. A telephone is available for free local calls. The local newspaper is available as well as a listing of current employment position openings in this locality. As donations permit, coffee and snacks are available at no cost.

In addition, Humility of Mary Shelter’s Outreach Team extends a regular presence to assist those living on the streets or in other places not meant for habitation. The Outreach Team brings food, water, hygiene items, clothing and bedding. The Outreach Team also brings information for housing, healthcare and meal sites. It connects individuals on the streets with community resources and opportunities for safe housing in the Quad City Area.

Recently, HMSI was honored with a Quad City Better Business Bureau Integrity Award for outstanding commitment to fair, honest and ethical practices.

Helping With Humor 2016

ComedySportz logo“Improv and comedy are in our blood.  We are in our element, we are just creating that element as we go,” said long time ComedySportz player George “Big G” Schulz, “we are thrilled to share what we do and help out our community.”

Tickets to the show are $12 in advance and $14 at the door.  Tickets available by calling 309-786-1111, or you may purchase them online through The Establishment.

Trivia Night benefit for Shelter: April 2

Trivia Night April 2

Teams of up to 8 people can register now!

Humility of Mary Shelter is sponsoring a Trivia Night fundraiser on Saturday, April 2 at the Golden Leaf Banquet Center. Proceeds will benefit adults experiencing homelessness in the Quad Cities who receive help at Humility of Mary Shelter.

Doors will open at 5:00 p.m. Trivia event begins at 6:00 p.m. Team registration is open. Teams of up to eight people can register at $80 per team. Early registration is encouraged as space is limited! The registration deadline is March 30. Download the registration form and informational flier HERE. Mail this form and payment to:

HMSI, 3805 Mississippi Ave., Davenport, IA 52807 Attn: Emily Harvey

trivia flier

Click the image to download this trivia information and registration form and register a team today!

Participant, can bring their own cold snacks–hot dishes and beverages not allowed. Cash bar will be provided (Please don’t bring your own beverages.) Mulligans are available!

All participants who bring an item from the HMSI Wish List to donate will be entered into the door prize drawing.

A silent auction will add to the fun and excitement of the evening.

For further information, contact Emily Harvey at (563) 326-1330.

The Golden Leaf Banquet Center is located at 2902 East Kimberly Road, Davenport, IA. [MAP]

Shelter Uses Person-first Language (…or “Why we don’t help ‘the homeless’”)

person-first language

We treat each person with dignity. Our language reflects that, too.

At Shelter, we believe in person-first language. “Person-first language” puts emphasis on the person. Any person is more important than the words that describe him or her. So, for us working in the housing field, we make an effort to say “people experiencing homelessness” rather than “the homeless” or “homeless people.”

Person-first language isn’t great from a writer and editor’s point of view. It uses more words to say something we could say in just two words. But, for us, that negative is worth the positive we gain. For us, using person-first language is actually another way we can help defeat homelessness.

Using person-first language chips away some deeply embedded stereotypes. When I speak of “the homeless,” my language creates a group of people that doesn’t include myself. So that kind of language can make me feel like people experiencing homelessness are somehow quite different from me. And, after all, we’re all people, not so different at that.

Another problem with talking about “the homeless” is that there are so many different reasons that people are homeless. Speaking about “the homeless” lumps everyone together into one group. That’s really not accurate. Among our adult population at Shelter people deal with a tremendous diversity of issues. Some are unemployed or underemployed. Some struggle with substance abuse. Others are veterans. Many have health issues. Some people have been incarcerated, others have experienced victimization in many different forms. So “the homeless” really does not convey how diverse the group is that’s suffering homelessness.

Person-first language

Person-first language also helps us recall that experiencing homelessness does not define who a person is. Someone experiencing homelessness probably once had a home and, hopefully, will again have one in the future. Homelessness is something they’re undergoing or experiencing now, but it’s temporary. Each of us is much more than what we’re experiencing at any given moment. Each of us deserves the dignity of that recognition.

These are some of the reasons that we try to use person-first language at Shelter. We try to refer to the folks we serve as “people experiencing homelessness” even though it takes extra syllables. Are we perfect at it? No. We still slip and say “the homeless” sometimes. But, we keep trying. Because language creates a reality. And, we want a world where all people receive respect, regardless of what they are going through at any point in their lives. We’re all people, after all.

Welcome to Shelter’s Facebook Community!

Shelter's Facebook

We invite you to join Humility of Mary Shelter’s Facebook community: facebook.com/HumilityOfMaryShelter

Humility of Mary Shelter is forming a vibrant support community on Facebook, and we’d love for you to join it. With the assistance of an award from Facebook and ActionSprout, an online agency that supports nonprofits, we’ve nearly doubled our supporters in 2015. It’s become a place where those who value our mission have an opportunity to follow more closely the news and the local insights of assisting people who are experiencing homelessness.

This social media site gives HMSI the opportunity to thank our supporters more easily and frequently. A short video slideshow is one avenue that’s successfully expressed our gratitude. It’s received nearly 17,000 views (as of this post). We repost it here:

Facebook lets supporters and the general public easily contact us. The messaging center never closes. It gives supporters one more way to easily donate support through the “Donate Now” button. A new feature introduced in the Fall 2015, supporters are already beginning to use the feature to lend a financial hand to the Shelter’s programming. Only $10 will support one person in need of a home for one day and one night at Shelter.

“Like” us on Facebook

We encourage you to use your free account to join our online community by “Liking” us on Facebook. Learn about news affecting housing in the U.S., share in our experiences, see what others in the Quad Cities are doing to support us at Shelter–you’ll grow and be inspired. We hope to see you there!

Scott County Housing Council receives over $400K Iowa funding for local affordable housing

affordable housing

Influx of state money will bost affordable housing in Scott County and Muscatine County.

The Iowa Finance Authority Board of Directors recently approved more than $6.3 million in grants to 27 Local Housing Trust Funds to support local affordable housing initiatives. This will assist 2,469 Iowa families. The Scott County Housing Council (SCHC) received $409,961 of that funding. This money is designated specifically to assist organizations in our area.

Humility of Mary Housing, Inc. and Humility of Mary Shelter, Inc., each agency a participating member of the Scott County Housing Council, will benefit from this major grant. Muscatine and Scott Counties fall in the SCHC’s area of jurisdiction.

“The partnership between the Iowa Finance Authority and Local Housing Trust Funds is one that pays dividends to affordable housing in Iowa,” said Iowa Finance Authority Executive Director Dave Jamison. “The grants announced today are leveraging an additional $2.7 million in local contributions, which is a testament to the shared commitment to meeting these vital housing needs.”

This money comes from The State Housing Trust Fund, a fund the Iowa Legislature created in 2003. Since its inception, the program has provided $50.1 million in affordable housing assistance. This funding has helped more than 17,600 Iowa families. Additionally, this funding has leveraged another $151.2 million in other funds or $2.68 for every dollar of State Housing Trust Fund investment.