ManSunHomeless3

What We Do

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:

  1. Day Center
  2. Year-round shelter and an emergency Winter Shelter
  3. A complete case management system
  4. A subsidized housing program
  5. Outreach and mentorship
  6. 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.

 

Robert

A New Pair of Gloves

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!

hair_cut_web

Volunteer of the Month

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!

lunch_banner_wider

Thank you!

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.

DSC00478_webDSC00463_web

DSC00456_web
DSC00470_web
DSC00450_web
DSC00475_web
DSC00486_web
DSC00492_web
DSC00495_web
DSC00490_web
DSC00472_web
DSC00497_web
DSC00499_web

Donovan - 2jpeg

Donovan’s Story

Every man comes to our program with his own story to tell; our goal is to meet them where they are on their journey and offer tools to assist them in moving from homelessness to a more stable, self-sufficient life.

I am touched by all the men I meet but when a man moves from our emergency shelter to the year-round shelter and then to stable housing, it is quite an accomplishment. What makes this story even more powerful is that this story doesn’t end there. This young man’s work ethic landed him a job at a local company and his desire to help others and pay it forward has led him back to Congregations for the Homeless as an employee.

Donovan entered the Emergency Winter Shelter in 2012. He was one of the younger clients at the shelter, in his mid twenties; he was a quiet, thoughtful young man, extremely articulate and very driven to move forward. I was touched by his story of how he had come to the shelter. Donovan had spent the last couple of years taking care of his ailing grandmother who raised him and she died just months before. After her death he was unable to pay the rent on his own and was having a difficult time finding work, so Donovan found himself at the emergency shelter.

Donovan looked more like a college student then a shelter resident; he was always nicely dressed and was never without his backpack. I was impressed with his motivation to find employment. Before long he entered the year-round shelter where he demonstrated his commitment to paying old parking tickets and getting his driver’s license reinstated. He worked day labor until he was able to find a full-time job. After working for a couple of months and working weekly with his case manager, Donovan was able with the help of CFH to move into his own apartment where he is doing amazingly well. His budgeting skills are strong, and his dedication to building a career is admirable. Donovan is a success story and CFH believes so strongly in his future that we recently hired Donovan as a site manager for the very shelter he entered a year ago, and for the Day Center. His future now filled with hope and support.