About HMHI

Located in the Quad Cities of IA and IL, we provide transitional and permanent housing for single-parent families who are without homes.

Recent Grant Helps Create Positive Childhood Experiences and Reduce Impact of Trauma

ACES hurts
ACES (adverse childhood experiences) can mar a future.

Most of us share a belief and desire to see all members of our community develop our fullest potential. We know, when each of us can contribute our best, our whole community benefits. 

Many of the children Humility of Mary works with are starting their individual journey with challenges and obstacles that make their journeys difficult.  And often, at a decidedly disadvantage compared with other children their age. 

32 of the 40 of our families have experienced intimate partner violence.  Fleeing a dangerous home without a safe place to go is a painful, difficult decision.  But sometimes, it is the ONLY option.  Families fleeing violence is by far the leading cause of homelessness that come to Humility of Mary for help.

Research shows that negative childhood experiences without interruption, intervention, and healing creates more violence, victimization, and sometimes perpetration.  “Hurt people, hurt people”.

The same research informs of what we know from our own life experiences.  Positive experiences can help re-establish the building blocks and foundation for future, lifelong health and opportunity.

This research has helped identify leading contributors to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and their effects. The more ACES a child is exposed to at a young age, the greater the challenges a child faces in the near and distant future.  In addition to violence, other ACES include substance use, neglect, chronic poverty, incarceration of a parent or loved family member, divorce, and sudden death of a loved one. Any one or combination of more than one of these experiences can lead a family into experiencing yet another ACE, homelessness. 

Positive, healing interventions and ongoing supports can help stabilize children who have multiple ACES and thereby help increase their chances of accomplishing their life dreams and hopes. 

By stabilizing families, Humility of Mary Housing minimizes the toll of ACES on the children we serve. Providing a safe place to live de-escalates ACES harm on a child.

Since 1990, HMHI has worked with families experiencing homelessness. By helping parents reach their parental, education, and employment goals, HMHI helps families break the cycle of ACES. 

This year, HMHI has received a grant from the Davenport based HAVlife Foundation to help children pursue their life dreams and hopes and overcome the obstacles and pains of the past. http://havlife.org/

One of the ways to support children who have experienced an ACE is for them to have a caring and supportive relationship with at least one adult.   This person is often a teacher, coach, or other adult mentor they interact with on a regular basis.  Studies show that young people that participate in music, arts education or extracurricular sports program helps contribute to their overall social, behavioral and cognitive development.   

With the assistance of the HAVlife funds, HMHI will be able to help one of our young men with the expense of renting or purchasing a drum set and private lessons.  This is just the start of unwinding the damage of the past and renewing hope for a young man’s bright future.

Humility of Mary Housing and Humility of Mary Shelter helps families and individuals end the painful cycle of experiencing homelessness.   But we cannot do this work alone.  Each day we work closely with organizations like the HAVlife Foundation, police, schools, and other service providers to increase positive experiences for all of the participants in our various housing programs.  Better understanding of ACES help all of us accomplish this important service in our community.

To that end, Humility of Mary Shelter’s Director of Services Christie Adamson is in the final stages of becoming a community trainer in the Eastern Iowa – Western Illinois Trauma Informed Care Consortium’s ACES training program.  Christie will be able to help Humility of Mary staff and other service providers identify young children and adults who are exhibiting behaviors related to trauma and possible interventions.

Volunteer Hours Add Support to Families in Need

Humility of Mary Housing and Humility of Mary Shelter will host an informational evening on volunteering with the agencies on Thursday, August 31 from 6pm to 7pm at Humility of Mary Housing, 3805 Mississippi Ave. in Davenport.  Men, women and teens are encouraged to attend. Topics will include the application process, current short term and ongoing volunteer needs, the upcoming Fresh Start Benefit Sale and other opportunities.  Hours and days are flexible to meet your busy schedule!  If you’re looking for a place to make a difference, please come to the meeting!  RSVP to 563-326-1330 x 105.

summer volunteer
YouthWorks volunteer teen prepares an apartment for a family without a home.

by Patti TrappIt has been a crazy busy summer, and I just can’t thank my wonderful volunteers enough for their dedication and service. Volunteers contributed over 14,000 hours to Humility of Mary Housing over the past fiscal year, 7/1/2016 to 6/30/2017! I honestly don’t know where we would be without volunteer help.

We saw volunteers everywhere! They worked:

  • office reception,
  • data entry,
  • helping in accounting,
  • assistant to the Executive Director,
  • helping maintenance,
  • painting,
  • cleaning,
  • processing in the donation center,
  • working the Fresh Start Benefit Sales,
  • handling recycling,
  • repairing furniture,
  • rehabbing furniture,
  • researching donated items,
  • creating displays in the donation center, and as 
  • assistant to me, Volunteer Coordinator.

That’s a long list of ways volunteers have blessed us and served our participant families this year!

In addition, there were countless hours worked by RSVP, AARP and those volunteering through workman’s comp. Companies with an injured worker have them volunteer until their physician releases them to return to work. Workman’s compensation volunteers work within the physical limitations dictated by the physician. Studies show there is less depression when people are working and interacting with others. Less depression means faster healing time. It’s a win-win for everyone!

We have also been blessed this year by a partnership with Goodwill Industries. We have had volunteers from the Day Rehabilitation group every two weeks. These folks have spread joy as they have helped on special projects.

There is always a project and a place you can join in. Want to learn more about volunteerism? Call Patti, 563-326-1330, Volunteer Coordinator for Housing and Shelter.

Fresh Start Benefit Sale Fall 2017: Sept. 29-30

Fall '17 Fresh Start Benefit Sale

The Fresh Start Benefit Sale for Fall 2017 is set for Friday, September 29 and Saturday, September 30. The sale takes place in our donation center, located at 3805 Mississippi Avenue in Davenport, IA. Sale hours are from 8 AM until 4 PM on Friday and from 9 AM until 3 PM on Saturday.

The Fresh Start Sale grants access to the public to purchase donations of furnishings, clothing and household goods that supporters have contributed to our families who are working hard to escape homelessness. Donations that they can’t use or don’t need for whatever reason may be bought at resale prices at this sale, held only one weekend each spring and fall.

The Fresh Start Benefit Sale Fall 2017 will feature seasonal items and holiday items. This is an excellent opportunity for you to refresh, complete or supplement your Christmas decor. We have a wealth of items–all priced to go. Visit our Facebook event page for photos of items and up-to-date sale news as it occurs.

Expect to find quality new and used items, furniture, household goods, bedding, toys, books, dishes, jewelry, collectibles, antiques, gifts, clothing and LOTS of miscellaneous. All children’s clothing is priced at .50 cents each!

Sale donations are welcome through Sept. 15 and can be dropped off at 3805 Mississippi Avenue, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (No after-hours drop offs, please.) We ask that all items be clean and in working order.

Volunteers are welcome to help us with the sale. Call the office for sign up, 563-326-1330 x 105!

Help us publicize our sale by downloading this sale flier. Post it to remind you to attend the sale. We hope to see you at the Fresh Start Benefit Sale Fall 2017!

Visit our Facebook event page for up-to-the-minute sale updates.

Enjoy some preview photos from the sale items:

Fall Fresh Start Benefit Sale Merchandise Photos

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Freedom from homelessness: Our democracy in action!

democracyThe 4th of July weekend is the ultimate summer celebration. It launches picnics, ice cream, fireworks and memories galore.   Amidst all of the celebrations and festivities, the 4th of July reminds us of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the words we hold so dear:

“…We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. …”

The principles and values described in the Declaration of Independence are uniquely American.  As a democratic society, we work to uphold and protect these values  each day. We know that in 1776, in a practical sense, the Declaration of Independence applied to and benefitted a certain class of persons with wealth and property. However, over time, the words themselves caught the imagination of persons and communities left out from the original text. The values, “all men created equal”, “unalienable rights”, “life, liberty, and happiness” transcended the original class of men and appealed to women, persons of color, all persons who did not own property. 

Today, thanks to historic and ongoing social justice struggles, American democracy and the Declaration of Independence includes millions more persons than did its original text.

There’s much for us to celebrate in the Declaration of Independence. It’s the foundation of our 241 year old democracy.  And, the struggles to realize and preserve its fullest potential continue. 

For many of our neighbors and friends, finding safe and stable homes from which they can establish their own foundation – – their personal declaration of independence – – seems remote.  And indeed, our sisters and brothers who are experiencing homelessness also have a right to reach their fullest potential. 

Finding affordable homes in the Quad Cities remains difficult for many:

  • persons and families with extremely low-incomes,
  • those working two or three jobs,
  • military veterans coping with PTSD and other combat related injuries, and
  • people with mental health and substance use challenges. 

Taking on homelessness is a big challenge.  And–with your help–Humility of Mary is working to address the root causes of homelessness. We’re keeping families and children safe.

HMHI bringing freedom

Our programs are showing great results. Our participants are building new and stronger foundations, creating safer and healthier environments for growth and long-term change. With the help of our program, two parents have recently reached their goals by earning their degrees in nursing and criminal justice. They can now join us in giving back to the community.  Click here to read an example. 

So far in 2017, eight households have advanced. They’ve moved into permanent housing opportunities of their own. New families are moving in. They look forward to bright futures for themselves and their children. By fully embracing the programs we offer, they’re more likely to reach their full potential as individuals and families.

The children in our programs are also affected. When children see mom or dad turning life around, getting degrees and jobs, they, in turn, begin to dream big dreams for themselves. We currently have a 14 year old who knows one day he will be a veterinarian. He has created a business card, and he’s mowing lawns to save for his education. The spark of a dream glows brightly in his mind. He’s developing his entrepreneurial skills as he works to save for his future. We’re helping him reach his full capacity.

Back in 1776, men of great vision and uncompromising spirit, gathered and drafted the Declaration of Independence. It was the beginning of a historic journey for all Americans to embrace freedom. We know that some thought it couldn’t be done. Naysayers said we’d never attain freedom. But, ‘We the People’ prevailed.  As it was then, it can be now. Join with Humility of Mary as we pursue this vision: homelessness doesn’t belong in the QCA.

The “self-evident truths” we hold dear are as true today as they were 241 years ago.

HMHI’s Summer Volunteers Are Fired Up!

porch volunteers
Summer 2017 brings great volunteer help to improve the Quad Cities and help our participating families.

Summer is heating up. And, our wonderful volunteers are hard at work, blazing new paths of progress for families!

They are cleaning apartments to prepare for families who need a place to live. They’re painting and renovating safe residents for our participating families.

We always need help in the donation center, and our volunteers are there! In summer, the grass is always growing around our 10 properties located in various sectors of Davenport. Our two full time maintenance men can’t keep up with all that mowing without volunteer assistance! 

Summer Volunteers 

We’d never be able to serve so many families (as we do everyday) without the help of some amazing volunteers!  Enjoy the photos (below) from some recent group projects. You’ll see Palmer College of Chiropractic students, YouthWorks students and chaperones, and a soldier from the Arsenal. All these groups and more have worked in June to help prepare homes for our families. In addition, individual volunteers and participants in AARP’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) as well as Goodwill SKILLS program members have steadily manned the needs of the Donation Center. 

In July YouthWorks teams will continue to serve us twice a week, beginning June 21 through July 27.  These teams of young Christians can come from anywhere in the US. So far, we’ve hosted teams from Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota.

KONE Elevators and Escalators of the Quad Cities will join send us a day team of workers in July. And a man from Camping World of Davenport is teaming up to help our families, as well.

Want to learn more for yourself or your group?  Call Patti, 563-326-1330. Individuals and teams of all ages and types are welcome to become summer volunteers!

June Volunteers!

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Davenport City Council Resolution Honors Efforts to Vanquish Homelessness

City of Davenport resolution
City of Davenport resolution honors survivors of homelessness, photo taken in council chamber on June 21, 2017. Photo: (L-R) John De Taeye, Humility of Mary; Michael Gayman, Catholic Worker House and The Center; Kim Brown, Quad City Harm Reduction; City of Davenport Mayor Frank J. Klipsch; Margot Hary, The Center.

Over the last several months Humility of Mary Housing and Shelter have convened community planning sessions with service providers and advocates who work with persons and families experiencing homelessness. The group is committed to building and sustaining a collaborative approach to reduce homelessness. They also want to increase the availability of home opportunities for extremely low income persons and families and persons living with severe mental health and substance use challenges. Success requires all of us working together!


“From Darkness to Light: Honoring Survival and Resilience”
June 21, 2017 Summer Solstice Resolution

WHEREAS, on any given day hundreds of Davenport residents including kids, families, and single adults are living in precarious, temporary living situations and as a result can be defined as “homeless”;

WHEREAS, the City of Davenport respects the inherent dignity and worth of all persons, especially residents living at the lowest income levels;

WHEREAS, the City of Davenport understands providing safe, quality short-term emergency shelters for extremely low-income residents, and increasing longer-term housing options for very low-income residents can reduce homelessness in Davenport;

WHEREAS, the City of Davenport knows mental health treatment and substance use treatment can help prevent homelessness and enable people to move out of homelessness;

WHEREAS, the City of Davenport recognizes ordinances that may expose homeless persons to heightened law enforcement actions can result in arrests and thus, additional barriers to securing employment and housing;

WHEREAS, the City of Davenport embraces harm reduction programs including ready availability of naloxone;

WHEREAS, the City of Davenport joins the National Health Care for the Homeless Council and New York City, Baltimore, Miami and several other cities across the United States in the June 21 Summer Solstice “From Darkness to Light: Honoring Survival and Resilience” observance;

BE IT RESOLVED, the City of Davenport joins the Quad City Shelter and Transitional Housing Council, business owners, and faith leaders in recognition of the June 21, 2017 Summer Solstice “From Darkness to Light: Honoring Survival and Resilience” as we honor our homeless residents Davenport who on a daily basis demonstrate resilience and strength;

BE IT RESOLVED, the City of Davenport is committed to end homelessness not only for individuals, but also as a society, with affordable housing, adequate incomes, health care, and supportive services.

BE IT RESOLVED, the City of Davenport honors the women, men and children who have overcome homelessness despite the odds, which give us the hope that together we can find the strength to create the political will to end homelessness for everyone. The fight for justice comes not from despair; it comes from hope – the hope that we can achieve Justice.

View a video news clip of the Summer Solstice Celebration event: http://www.ourquadcities.com/news/people-who-overcame-being-homeless-celebrated-in-davenport/748468675?ei

An album of photos of the Summer Solstice Celebration event midday event is available on our Flickr page.

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QC Junetopia 3 will benefit HMHI families, entertain the QCA

QC Junetopia 3QCJunetopia, a 3-day Quad Cities festival event will grace the area for its third consecutive year on June 16-18. A celebration of the area arts communities, the festival is becoming a cornerstone among local artists: musicians, comedians, artists, crafters, filmmakers, and performers of all kinds.

Nowadays, the founders consider it an annual community-strengthening event. Junetopia features dozens of bands, both local and regional. Local artists sell their locally-produced goods. Events occur in local venues. All profits benefit the Humility of Mary Shelter, Humility of Mary Housing, Kings Harvest Ministries, and the Kings Harvest Pet Rescue No-Kill Shelter.

For information on acts, times and tickets: http://qcjunetopia.com/location-information/ A three day ticket is just $25, but you can purchase day tickets also.

Visit the travelIOWA blog for more information about QCJunetopia 2017. Communicate with fans, founders and performers on their Facebook page.

Click the image to view the event poster in readable size:

qc junetopia 3 poster

Solstice Event 2017: Celebrate resiliency and success over homelessness

summer solstice successThis year the Quad-Cities will celebrate its first Summer Solstice Event 2017. Entitled “From Darkness to Light: Honoring Success and Resilience,” the June 21 gathering celebrates people who overcome homelessness. As a community we’ll also affirm that we can end homelessness for everyone. Local organizations who assist people experiencing homelessness are hosting the Quad Cities Summer Solstice Event 2017.

The event will gather around a potluck meal. The Center, located at 1411 Brady Street in Davenport, IA hosts the event from 11:30 AM until 1:00 PM. The Center and Humility of Mary Housing and Shelter will provide a main dish. They ask participants to bring a potluck dish to share. This sharing reaffirms our local commitment to provide safe shelter and housing options for anyone in need.

Summer Solstice Event 2017 Participants

The local event targets members of the Quad-City Shelter and Transitional Housing Council, Quad-City Area service and advocacy organizations. Faith leaders, business owners, elected officials and members of the public are all encouraged to attend. We are stronger together as we support those in need.

The celebration of summer solstice originated nationally by the National Healthcare for the Homeless Council. They organize events in Miami, New York City and Baltimore. This initial event in the Quad Cities joins the energy in these metro areas.

Summer Solstice 2017 Event Origins

December 21 is the Winter Solstice, the first day of winter and the longest night of the year. Homeless Person’s Memorial Day events that day honor individuals who have lost their lives while enduring homelessness. Similarly, a new corresponding effort is arising on June 21. That day is the Summer Solstice, the first day of summer and longest day of the year. US cities are celebrating those who have overcome homelessness on that day. We affirm that we can end homelessness for everyone.

Homelessness is not permanent. It is not a condition that defines the rest of a person’s life. It is easy to become homeless. But, it’s no easy task to break out of homelessness. People without homes face many systemic barriers. These range from the high cost of housing to low wages and inadequate public assistance programs. All these factors are complicated by poor health and poverty.

Nevertheless, some people surmount these great challenges and reclaim stable, healthy, and productive lives. So, we honor their accomplishments and draw inspiration from them as we continue the struggle for housing justice and human rights.

For more information contact Michael Gayman [The Center 563-505-5621] and/or John De Taeye [Humility of Mary Housing and Shelter 563-484-6901].

Moving from Homelessness to Registered Nurse in the Quad Cities

Katie and son at graduation

This May–always a month of graduations–marks an important turning point in the life of a young woman who has battled to success despite her family’s homelessness. Her nursing career has taken a leap to the next level as she moves from homelessness to registered nurse. And, HMHI supporters played an important role in this success story.

Katie resides in one of the eight units of HMHI’s Permanent Supportive Housing program. When she came to us, she was pregnant. When speaking of those days, she remembers having “nowhere to go. I moved into my apartment two weeks shy of giving birth to my son, Keltin. While I was in the hospital, I promised my newborn that someday I would be able to provide for him.”

While in our program, Katie maintained steady employment. At the same time, she continuously furthered her education. While juggling work and school, Katie also accepted the challenges of raising her son as a single mother.

Katie was accepted into the Scott Community College nursing program in 2015. Money was really tight for her. But, she earned herself a PELL Grant. She scraped together the funding she needed to apply, pay tuition and purchase books for the program. However, just a month before her courses of study were to begin, she received a long list of medical equipment and specific supplies that the program required.

The cost of materials she needed to begin classes totaled $650. Katie didn’t have that amount of money in reserve. With help from family and friends, she pieced together much of this unexpected extra funding needed at the last minute. But, she couldn’t raise it all. What she could access wasn’t going to be enough.

mission accomplished
HMHI’s plea for help inspired supporters to come forward. Their contributions made Katie’s success a possibility. [Image from 2015 HMHI website archive]
So, HMHI turned to our supporters using the Internet and social media, publishing a plea for help. Supporters donated toward Katie’s nursing fund–without knowing Katie or even much about her personal situation. They simply helped a stranger from the generosity of their hearts. Within days, Katie was bound for her courses–fully supplied.

Katie has worked very hard to complete the nursing program–all while continuing to work as a certified nursing assistant (CNA). Katie recently graduated from Scott Community College’s Nursing program with her Registered Nurse (RN) degree. Her service coordinator, Lauren Gustafson, was on hand to watch Katie receive her nursing pin.

Katie will take her board examinations in the fall. She intends to seek out employment as a Registered Nurse. But she’s not finished yet! While working as an RN, Katie plans on on continuing her education. She has her sights set on achieving her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. 

Katie kept her promise to her son. Equipped with this nursing degree, their future looks bright. She thanks HMHI’s program, staff and supporters:

Without this program, I can only imagine where I would be right now.  It was by the grace of God and true dedication that I am where I am today.  And I could never be here if it wasn’t for this program. God bless you all!

HMHI Program Director Sandy Dimmer almost bursts with pride as she recalls this participant’s trajectory of achievement: “Katie has worked so hard since she has been with us. I am so proud of her!”

RN graduates
Katie and her son have earned a success to celebrate.

More than 50 volunteers helped us: United Way Day of Caring

United Way Day Of Caring team
This United Way Day of Caring team did outreach work for us in Rock Island.

by Patti Trapp, Volunteer Coordinator for HMHI and Humility of Mary Shelter

volunteer yardwork
Yard work at property sites helps prepare homes for families in need.

Today was the semi-annual Spring 2017 United Way Day of Caring. We at HMHI greatly benefitted from the volunteer work participants contributed. We sincerely thank all our United Way Day of Caring Volunteers! Today, we had teams from area businesses as well as individuals in attendance. We thank John Deere, John Deere retirees, St. Ambrose University, Quad City Raiders and Triumph Bank who sent groups to assist us with so many projects.

Fortunately, today’s weather was perfect for a work day! We had volunteers painting an apartment, doing yard work, power washing home exteriors, planting a community garden and doing community outreach. Over 50 people participated in groups supporting Humility of Mary Housing and Humility of Mary Shelter—as well as the people we serve who are experiencing homelessness and working hard to escape its grip.

The Day of Caring Rock Island Outreach project got off to a great start this morning! Fifteen very enthusiastic volunteers covered the downtown neighborhood, distributing over 300 brochures, Helping With Humor fliers, and outreach cards.

Volunteer projects like these are invaluable to HMHI/HMSI. The volume of work that we have in property management alone is overwhelming at times. So, we are grateful for every volunteer and every hour that is so generously given.

Last fiscal year (7/1/15 through 6/30/16) 236 volunteers gave over 6000 hours to HMHI. In addition, volunteers served us through the AARP, RSVP, community service, workman’s comp-rehab programs and area schools!  

See United Way’s website for details on the next Day of Caring event which will take place here in the fall. Remember….volunteer opportunities are ongoing at HMHI! For details call Patti: 563-326-1330 x 105.

United Way of the Quad Cities says: “Today, we engaged 900 volunteers in 56 projects, a true testament of how when we work together, we all win!”

garden groundskeepers team
Teams of hard workers accomplished a tremendous amount of work today.