Year End Giving
A Message from our CEO Donna
This is my first holiday season with Housing Hope and HopeWorks. I have been inspired and impressed with the many accomplishments of this unique 36-year-old organization. For more than three decades, Housing Hope has provided safe and affordable housing with the addition of support services including childcare, jobs, and life skills training to individuals and families in Snohomish County and Camano Island. We are thankful you’ve been with us through the years, and that you recognize our organization is more critical to the health of our county than ever.
You have given us the gifts of hope and strength to stay nimble and relevant in this sometimes difficult but always rewarding work. I am thankful for the opportunity to amplify our mission as we focus on one of the most pressing issues in our community: the shortage of accessible and affordable housing.
The path to becoming unhoused and the journey to exit poverty vary with each community member we serve. We are dedicated to supporting the unique needs of each family that connects with Housing Hope and HopeWorks with holistic supports. We do this through the development of rapport and trust with each family as barriers are identified, actions to achieve goals are created, and celebrations of wins are achieved as households increase their own stability and self-sufficiency.
Our featured success story is about Angela, who worked with our team to create her path with her son. Last year, at about this time, Angela wrote us a holiday card to let us know how she was doing and to thank us for the support and guidance she received. We thought you would want to know how she’s doing, too.
When Angela became homeless, she did not tell anybody. She lived out of her car between “visits” with friends and family. During a doctor’s visit, her physician asked how she was getting by, as she had an 8-month-old baby with a severe heart condition. During that appointment, she learned how to get on a waitlist for housing with Housing Hope. After several more weeks of juggling, things fell into place, and Angela was able to get housed in north Snohomish County. Housing Hope helped her with furnishings, clothes, and the health care her son needed.
“Cathy, my Family Support Coach, helped me with all of it.”
“She taught me about the medical benefits that were available to me and how insurance would cover monthly trips to Children’s Hospital in Seattle that my son needed, including several major heart procedures and surgeries. I met weekly with Cathy and learned the fundamentals of budgeting and house cleaning. I took the free classes offered to me on budgeting, nutrition, parenting, and other topics. I was able to get myself organized, and I got back into school, where eventually I finished my BA degree in business through Central Washington University.
As things improved for me financially, I was able to graduate to a larger Housing Hope unit in Marysville. This opened my eyes to a variety of people struggling just like me. Some were motivated but others did not take the program seriously and looked for ways around rules… resisting making changes in their lives. I connected with several families who were motivated to make changes, and I still stay in touch with them today.
By the time I finished the programs, I was ready to move on. I ended up moving with my son to Nevada to live near my cousins. I was able to start a career with a property management company, where I have been working and advancing for almost 11 years. I am totally off public assistance and am working on purchasing our first home.
My son has been the biggest blessing in my life. He is now 16 and is the most generous, thoughtful, amazing child you have ever met. The State of Nevada has an excellent Heart Center where he was able to get life-changing surgery that allows him to self-monitor his activity rate. He now plays soccer – something he has always wanted to do.
The move also helped me make changes to improve my health, and I now have fitness and nutrition goals that I work on, including doing the training program for a half-marathon. I still use the nutrition and budgeting classes I took at Housing Hope. I know how to make $40 stretch over a month, and I use a monthly budgeting sheet to track our expenses and purchase food that is good for us.
I am very thankful to Housing Hope for the life I have today. Cathy really helped me, and it was important for me this year to reach back and thank her and the agency. My advice for families in the Housing Hope program is to do the work, take the classes, follow the rules, and change your life for the better.”
Angela’s Story is one of the many success stories in our program. We are thankful to her for reminding us of what is possible when you offer people a chance for a different life. Your support is also part of Angela’s success.
At this time of year, when we reflect on 2023, Angela encourages us to remember that investing in each other has value and purpose, and indeed, makes for stronger, more inclusive communities.
Housing Hope and HopeWorks have faced some challenges in 2023. Our revenue streams have been impacted by the fentanyl epidemic resulting in costly damage to our units as well as a decline in rental revenues and increased insurance costs. Your year-end donation is even more significant to us as we work to counter these difficulties. The capital monies for our South Snohomish County housing communities, Madrona Highlands, and Scriber Place are complete and in place so we can proceed with these projects with confidence.
Thank you for considering a meaningful gift to continue the momentum of the past 36 years. We are inspired by stories like Angela’s, and we know our work is crucial to the future of the many community members we serve.
With Gratitude Always,
CEO of Housing Hope & HopeWorks