Mary’s Place Volunteer Coordinator, Megan Husko, gave an overview of the Haller Lake Facility and explained volunteer opportunities available there.
Marita NIemann took notes for Secretary, Celia Matson, who had another commitment.
Ethan Bradford, HLCC President, called the meeting to order at 7:30 and made the following announcements:
. HLCC March Game Night, which is held on the 3rd Saturday of the month, will be March 17th from 4 -9pm.
. Egg Stuffing for the HLCC Easter Egg Hunt will take place this Sunday, March 4th, from 2-4pm in the club’s downstairs board room and Sunday, March 25th, at the same time and place. Please come to one or both of these events and help Sheryl Grater and crew stuff the eggs. If you have stuffings for the eggs, please bring them to the boardroom at that time or drop them off during Creative Dance classes at the bin located in the club’s entranceway.
. HLCC Easter Egg Hunt will be held on Saturday, March 31st, from 10 – 12pm at Northacres Park. Please contact Marita ([email protected]) to help setup, work during the event or donate food items.
. HLCC April Game Night will be April 21st from 4 – 9pm.
. HLCC May Game Night, will be May 19th from 4 to 9pm. We are going to call this particular event, Family Fun Night, since besides games, Sharon Stearnes will be playing our resident Wurlitzer and Silent Movies will be shown. Paul Richardson, our neighborhood chef, will be serving Spaghetti dinners available for purchase, with vegan and gluten free options. Please spread the word and invite your friends to come too for a special evening.
Ethan Bradford, HLCC President, then announced the members of the nominating committee that have already been designated according to the bylaws. These members are Rob Laing and Jason Broad (the 1st and 2nd trustees). Ethan asked for other volunteers. Thanks to Don Thornton, Randy Harkness, and Marita Niemann who volunteered to join the nominating committee. Shawn MacPherson seconded his nomination. The committee will propose a slate of candidates at April’s general meeting, voting will take place in May, and the installation of new officers will occur at the June Ice Cream Social.
Ethan next called on Vice President, Randy Harkness, in charge of setting up the programs for our general monthly meetings, to come forward. Randy introduced our speaker for the night from Mary’s Place, Megan Husko.
Megan proceeded to tell us a little about herself. She grew up in Vancouver, Washington and attended college at Western Washington University in Bellingham, majoring in management. She loves to hike. She moved to Seattle 11 months ago and has been working at Mary’s Place since October. She spoke enthusiastically of her job helping the residents.
She said each year on one date in January, Seattle takes a count of the number of homeless people. The count for 2018 has not come out yet. In 2017, that total was 11,643 people: 2,667 people were in transitional housing, 3,491 were in emergency shelters, and 5,485 were unsheltered.
The majority of the homeless are our neighbors: 77%, from King County, 14% from other parts of Washington, and 9% from out of state. People experience homelessness for a variety of reasons: 30% from loss of job, 20% from drug and alcohol use, 11% from eviction, 9% from divorce, 8% from illness, and 6% from domestic violence.
Mary’s Place was first established in 1999 as a day center for women, with a community feel, where resources could be accessed. In 2011, overnight sleeping spaces were provided in partnership with churches. In 2014, family centers were established which are open 24/7. All residents must have children under 18. Pregnant women are welcomed. Mary’s Place empowers women, children and families to redirect their lives with transitional housing which typically lasts 6 to 12 months. There is follow up after they move out.
Our Haller Lake Mary’s Place, located in the former Queen City Savings Bank, currently has 100 guests living there. The space is provided by the city as they await the building of the proposed new North Precinct Facility on that property. There is currently a wait list, which is longer in cold weather and before school starts. There is an open door policy during the day, helping other shelter people find employment and housing.
Guests at Mary’s Place take care of all the cleaning and earn points to shop at the in house Market Place for items they need. Donations can be dropped off during the day from 9 to 6pm. There are many volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups: sorting donations, planning activities for children/families at Kids Club, tutoring, and gardening to name a few.
75% of the adult residents are employed. Children attend local schools, with many right here at Northgate Elementary . If they previously went to other schools, transportation is provided to get them there, so disruption is minimalized as much as possible.