Congregations for the Homeless works to end homelessness in East King County, Washington. We do this by helping men to successfully make the transition from homelessness to permanent housing. Our agency offers 6 services:
- Day Center
- Year-round shelter and an emergency Winter Shelter
- A complete case management system
- A subsidized housing program
- Outreach and mentorship
- Employment support
From homelessness to housing, one man at a time.
All work together to give a single man the path to a stable productive life.
By Robert Gidley
Although I work at Congregations for the Homeless, I don’t have much contact with our clients. I’m the IT Guy, so I mostly work with the office staff and case managers. I stop by the various computer labs, but it’s easier to do my work when nobody’s using the computers.
So my impressions of homeless guys tend towards the ones we all see—somebody standing on a corner with a cardboard sign that says “Homeless Anything Helps.”
Last night, I got one of the more thoughtful gifts I’ve ever received – from a homeless guy. Let’s call him Jim. I’ve seen him around the office, and we’ve chatted a few times, but I don’t know much about him.
I regularly ride my motorcycle to the offices because it’s fun and cheap. I ride even when it’s cold and raining. Last night, we were serving dinner at the Emergency Winter Shelter, and Jim came up and said,
“Well, I didn’t wrap these because I don’t do things like that. But I worry that your hands get cold when you ride in the winter. I thought you could use these gloves way more than I could.”
He handed me a pair of brand new thick Thinsulate gloves worth $40. Nice gloves. They even have a zippered pouch in them that holds a hand warmer.
I know how much they cost because the price tag was still on them. Now, I don’t think for a moment that Jim used his own money to buy these. They were probably a gift from one of our supporters to him. But he could easily have taken them to any store and gotten cash for them—they still had all the tags attached. Instead, he thought of somebody who could use a pair of gloves more than he could, and he unhesitatingly gave them away.
I don’t think I would do the same thing in his situation. I would probably cash them out for the 40 bucks.
I hope that someday I will learn to be as thoughtful, kind, and generous as the homeless guy in the shelter.
Thanks, Jim. That makes two gifts you gave me.
P.S. To make sure the karmic scales stay balanced, I made a $40 donation to CFH. I’m keeping the gloves, though!
Jennifer Defluri – Hair Stylist Extraordinaire!
For two years, Jennifer has been providing haircuts in the Year-Round shelter. Every other month Jennifer provides haircuts – sometimes as many as 10 cuts an evening. Through her time in serving CFH clients, Jennifer has grown a heart for the mission; recently Jennifer accepted a position with Plymouth Housing as an Outreach Specialist to further pursue the service of those in need.
When asked about her commitment to working with our men, Jennifer shared, “Everyone has problems and issues, but we’re all people.”
It’s the heart of volunteers like Jennifer that make a difference in the lives of our men each and every day!
Richard LeMieux, author of Breakfast at Sally’s: One Homeless Man’s Inspirational Journey with our Executive Director Steve Roberts and Charlotte Roberts.
Our fundraising luncheon on Wednesday, September 17 was a resounding success! Staff members shared success stories, success statistics, and we got to hear directly from some of our clients about how much CFH means to them.
We raised over $100,123!
If you missed the luncheon, you can still make a contribution.
Below is the video we showed at our luncheon. Please feel free to share!
Below are some of the photos from our lunch. Thanks to all our staff and volunteers who worked hard to make the event happen (and clean up afterwards!). Special thanks go out to Donna McLeod, Events Manager.
What your donation can buy
- $50 buys a drivers license or Washington State I.D. needed for employment
- $50 pays for sheets, towels, blanket and pillow for a man moving into housing
- $50 purchases a backpack, calculator, school supplies for a man attending college courses or vocational training
- $100 buys six sleeping bags
- $250 buys dentures for a man
- $300 purchases a metro bus pass for a year for a disabled man
- $400 funds the dental van for a month (price includes mobile dental van, dentist, hygienist, dental assistance)
Donate your vehicle
|Paper plates & bowls||Paper cups (hot & cold)|
|Plastic eating utensils (no knives)||Napkins|
|Sugar||Non-dairy creamer (powdered)|
|Gift cards (grocery stores)||Socks|
|Underwear (new 30″ – 38″ waist)||Gloves|
|Clothing (new or gently used)||Shoes (new or gently used)|
|Sleeping bags||Disinfectant wipes|
|Multipurpose cleaner (409)||Bleach|
|Pine Sol||Liquid dish soap|
|Toilet paper||Paper towels|
|Disposable Nitrile gloves lg/xl||Clear 33 gallon trash bags|
|Black 55 gallon trash bags||Costco gift cards|
|Cash & Carry gift cards||Travel size toothpaste|
|First aid kits||Band-aids|
|Commercial vacuum cleaner (3)||Space heaters|
The CFH Day Center (located at Bellevue First Congregational Church) is open Monday thru Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Henry Dellechiaie is the Day Center Manager. Continue reading →