We are in need of baby cribs and toddler beds for new families that have recently moved into the Humility of Mary Housing Program. If you have a clean, gently used crib or toddler bed, with all the parts and hardware, please consider donating it to us.
Donations are received at the Fresh Start Donation Center, Monday through Friday 8am to 4pm, 3805 Mississippi Ave, in Davenport. Please call Patti at 563-326-1330 for more information. Thank you!
Sheila Parker is a single parent of four daughters. During a challenging time in her life in 2007, Sheila found Humility of Mary Housing as a resource to help stabilize her housing situation, support her in raising her daughters, and find encouragement to return to school. Today, Sheila has degrees as a Certified Nurses Assistant (CNA) and Medical Assistant (MA). She sustains two careers – – working at the Shell Gas Station at 3622 N. Brady in Davenport and running her own business providing home-based support with the elderly. Three of Sheila’s four daughters have graduated from college. Her youngest will graduate soon.
Since the day after Thanksgiving, Sheila and other staff at the Shell Gas Station at 3622 N. Brady Street in Davenport have collected household and clothes items for Housing and Shelter participants. Over the last two weeks, Shell Gas Station collected six large totes of items, valued at over $400.00!
“I just wanted to help make sure Humility of Mary participants had all the things I had during my rough time,” Sheila said.
We sincerely thank the Shell Gas Station for support, Sheila for leadership and generosity and all their customers who contributed for their holiday spirit. They will directly enrich the lives of those who are in need.
Karen is a regular volunteer at the Fresh Start sales at Humility of Mary Housing. She composed this article and ,unsolicited, she sent it to us with this note: “Because of the seemingly hopelessness of recent tragic weather events, violence, hatred and lack of human understanding and compassion, I feel compelled to write…”
Humility of Mary Housing is an organization that provides homeless families the opportunity to secure safe housing and resources to improve their lives. One creative way the agency has found to raise funds to help families is through the biannual Fresh Start Benefit Sale; held in September and April.
All year donations from individuals and businesses are received at the HMH Donation Center located at 3805 Mississippi Ave., in Davenport. Items are sorted by volunteers and AARP workers into areas for housing needs for families in the program, needs for Humility of Mary Shelter for homeless individuals, a ‘boutique area’ for surplus items and special sale items.
When a family enters the program; furniture, clothing and household items are moved into an apartment. Fifty weeks of the year, the family, free of charge, may select other things from the ‘boutique area.’ During the other two weeks of the year, the sale area is prepared by an amazing, diverse team of volunteers and AARP workers. Special donations such as antiques, artwork and large furniture are added to the ‘boutique area’. Money received from the sales is used to purchased goods and services needed by HMHI families.
Most people familiar with HMHI know this information. What people may not know about the Fresh Start Benefit Sales are the people who buy and/or benefit from the Sale; the woman who buys the extra winter clothing and sends it to a Native American reservation in North Dakota. The shopper who buys fabric remnants to make quilts for newborns in local hospitals. The woman who purchases yarn to make comfort caps for a woman recovering from a mastectomy and radiation treatment. The young teacher’s aide who buys jeans for the classroom, so children aren’t embarrassed when an ‘accident’ occurs at school. The unemployed family who buys coats, mittens and shoes for their children for 50 cents and repeatedly thanks the cashier volunteer. The young couple starting out with little money who giggle as the buy reasonably priced furniture.
Being a part of the Sale allows me the opportunity to hear and see how HMHI’s mission to provide for homeless families trickles down goodness into the corners of many other lives. It allows me the opportunity to work, interact, laugh and yes even sweat with a wonderful team of volunteers, AARP workers and Patti the Volunteer Coordinator.
Put all together it gives me hope. I am proud to say that, “I am an HMH volunteer!”
Jenica, one of our teen participants, agreed to share her thoughts about her senior year in high school. In this segment, she writes about all that she and her mom have experienced. She also has dreams for her future. “Jenica’s Jottings” is the first part of Humility of Mary Housing and Shelter’s “In Our Own Voices” campaign. The writings of our participants will lift up into full view the resilience and courage our participants demonstrate daily.
Hello, my name is Jenica. I’m 17 years old and currently attend West High School. At a very young age, I was introduced to a very unstable life. But today I live a very stable and healthy life. Humility of Mary is to thank for this.
Growing up for me was hard. My mother was an alcoholic as well as a drug addict. At the time I wasn’t aware of what was going on. But, I knew I didn’t have that perfect life shown on TV or the family life I saw other kids my age having. Through the years I went to a lot of schools, missed a lot of schools, and never really had a true home. I was always waiting to move, wondering how long I would be at this house or sometimes even who was I going to live with next.
Even as my mother was sober and was involved in her programs, working the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, not everyone was willing to give us a home. Due to her record, other people didn’t see the change I had. They weren’t willing to overlook her felonies and give her a chance. But thanks to Sandy, Rebecca, Rosie, and many others in the Humility of Mary program we were granted that opportunity.
Jenica’s life — New opportunity
It was late May 2014, the end of my middle school career and I was going into high school a few month later. We were moving into our new house–not living with anyone, not fearful of being rejected. Mom got a new job. This lifted so much stress off of even me. Being a kid in my generation is tough. Everyone judges. And bouncing from home to home, living off of people and such isn’t the best way to make friends.
Moving here helped me with new opportunities. It made me more comfortable, less ashamed. Humility of Mary Housing helped with school supplies food, sometimes even clothing. They took us in and gave my mother and me a chance when no one else did. This made the difference. Who knows if I would be doing this good in high school without them?
Now I maintain around a B average and take college classes. I need 1.75 credits in order to graduate. Humility of Mary helped me to become the young woman I am today, and for that I am so very grateful.
We remember the date exactly: October 7, 1989. The Davenport Humility Sisters (CHMs) organized a Quad City pilgrimage to Washington, DC that weekend to participate in the National March to End Homelessness. About this event, the New York Times reported: “Tens of thousands march to protest the shortage of decent, affordable housing.”
The Sisters returned to Davenport inspired. They resolved to make a difference right here in the Quad Cities.
One year later, they established Humility of Mary Housing, Inc. Over the years it continued to grow while providing housing and services to single parent families.
Over twenty five years later, the need for affordable housing has grown. And the need for our services is still present.
Housing Is a Human Right
So, we reaffirm our belief:
We Still Believe ….Parents want the very best for their children and at times may need assistance in finding a home, good paying jobs to afford housing, while continuing their personal and professional growth …..
We Still Believe …. Families fleeing violent situations in their homes need a safe place to heal, restore relationships, and rebuild a sense of home ….
We Still Believe . . . Persons with limited physical and mental abilities, who are struggling to earn enough money to afford market rate housing, need a safe place to lie their head at night ….
We Still Believe …. Veterans who come home with visible and invisible scars and struggle to reconnect with their home community, families and friends still need a place to call home ….
We Still Believe . . . Governments and the private sector share a responsibility to work together to help build good, quality affordable housing, in safe vibrant neighborhoods.
As the season of giving approaches, everyone looks forward to Christmas. We have opportunities for you to make a difference to a stranger in need this season.
We at Humility of Mary Housing would like to provide presents for our families with children. Once agani, the theme for our Christmas giving is: Something that I want, Something that I need, Something that I’ll wear and Something that I’ll read. Registration to sponsor one family this Christmas is underway. To sponsor Christmas presents for a family experiencing homelessness, contact Patti at 563-326-1330. She will find you a family that matches your ability to give.
Another Christmas Giving Program
Humility of Mary Shelter, our sister agency, would like donors to provide $20 gift cards specifically from Dollar Tree Stores. Dollar Tree Stores are close to Davenport bus routes and will allow Shelter participants to choose their own Christmas present. For people experiencing homelessness, life seems very out of control. By gifting them with a gift card, you provide not only a gift but also the ability for them to choose what they want. This is a ‘hidden’ gift: restoring a bit of control over their own lives to people who don’t have a home.
Humility of Mary Shelter will need 175 $20 gift cards from the Dollar Tree for their participants in both the emergency shelter and the veterans programs. They are hoping that the public will help them make Christmas merry for their program participants.
The “Fine Print”
Santa needs to plan his route! So, we’d like to receive Christmas donations by December 11. Bring all donations to 3805 Mississippi Ave. in Davenport from Monday to Friday between the hours of 8 AM- 4 PM. For questions and clarifications on the Christmas giving programs for Humility of Mary Shelter and Humility of Mary Housing, call Patti at 563-326-1330.
Humility of Mary Housing, Inc. and Humility of Mary Shelter, Inc. are merging. The goal is to fully integrate operations of both organizations by July 1, 2018. Combined, Humility of Mary Housing, Inc. and Humility of Mary Shelter, Inc. have worked to secure safe, stable housing for 5,952 adults and 2,442 children .
With the decision to merge, the Board of Directors of both agencies remain committed to the social justice principles on which the Congregation of the Humility of Mary sisters established both organizations.
In December 2016, members of both agency Boards established a unified board. A Transition Team consisting of Board members and staff began to work with consultants Patricia Shea and Chuck Roberson to identify key issues related to the merger process.
In August 2017, the Unified Board signed a two-year contract with Mission + Strategy, a Chicago-based consulting firm specializing in mergers and consolidations of human services organizations.
In 1987, Sisters of the Congregation of the Humility of Mary met with community leaders and residents to discuss pressing social justice issues and community needs. This group considered the need for more housing opportunities for the very poor and homeless. On October 7, 1989, the Sisters organized a Quad City pilgrimage to Washington, DC to participate in the National March to End Homelessness. They joined tens of thousands, marching to protest the shortage of decent, affordable housing.
The Sisters returned to Davenport intent upon making a difference in the Quad Cities. A year later they established Humility of Mary Housing, Inc. Over the years it grew, providing housing and services to single parent families.
Almost 20 years later, in 2008, residents of Davenport learned the John Lewis Shelter needed significant building improvements and faced steep financial problems. Without an operator, the shelter would close within 30 days. Following an urgent community-wide meeting of local stakeholders, the Sisters considered a possible role. With the promise of Quad City financial support, the Congregation formed a new corporation. Humility of Mary Shelter, Inc. opened on September 21, 2008. With the help of supporters and donors from the Quad City area and across the country, it has remained open every day since!
Agency leaders are confident that the merger builds upon the foundation of the 1989 pilgrimage to Washington, DC and all subsequent work and progress. The struggle to provide decent, safe and affordable housing continues.