Why federal housing assistance is more important than ever

Problems on horizon for QCA
Pending cuts to federal investment in housing for low income families will hurt the Quad Cities. Take action to prevent problems.

Families and communities–like ours in the Quad Cities–need some resources to thrive.  We’ve relied for years, for instance, on federal housing assistance. Grant money from the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Agriculture (USDA) helped vulnerable people find stability by helping them into safe homes. That, in turn, has increased stability to the Quad Cities.

When families have stable, affordable homes, they can find jobs more easily, move up economically, do better in school, and stay healthy. Studies back this up. Affordable housing brings many positive effects. It promotes community development. And it boosts our local economy and our job creation.

Federal investments in affordable housing have already lifted millions of families out of poverty. Actually, five million in 2015 alone! Without help, many would live on the streets or in substandard or overcrowded conditions. Others might go without food, medicine or other basics because too much of their limited income has to pay the rent.

Quad Cities housing today

low income housing
Without further investments in low income housing, vulnerable people will lose their footing.

Despite their proven track record, HUD and USDA affordable housing programs haven’t gotten enough funding. What’s happened as a result? Today only a quarter of those who qualify for housing assistance get the help they need. And, the need continues to grow.

More people rent their homes than ever before. Because housing supply and rental assistance haven’t kept up with need, rents are rising everywhere. So, more families spend most of their income just keeping a roof over their heads. Homelessness rates are rising in many communities. On top of that, much of our nation’s affordable housing is deteriorating. What exists often isn’t appropriate for people with disabilities.

It’s not just us in the Quad Cities. Every state and congressional district is affected.

What to do?

We wish there was an easy answer. Since every community is different, so are their housing needs. But, we do know that we have to:

  • save and restore the affordable housing that we do have;
  • create more units of affordable housing for low income families; and
  • increase rental assistance and other programs that help make housing affordable.

None of that can happen without federal investment in affordable housing.

But, the Budget Control Act of 2011 decreased funding for affordable housing and community development programs by imposing low federal spending caps. These spending caps limit Congress’s power to invest in housing solutions. Just one example is that HUD housing and community development funding was $4.3 billion lower in 2016 than in 2010.

Result? It’s harder to house low income seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, and other vulnerable folks. Any further budget cuts—such as those we’re facing in the proposed federal budget–will undermine even more of the federal safety net for housing.

What’s on the horizon?

federal investments in low income housing
Federal investments in low income housing, already on the decline, are slated for caps in 2018. Worse, the proposed budget will reduce that further (dark blue bar at right).

Since the Budget Control Act went into effect, Congress made some short-term agreements to increase spending beyond the budget caps. These agreements provided very limited budgetary relief. They also required parity for defense and non-defense spending (cuts to one should mean equal cuts to the other). That helped. It temporarily eased the pressure on affordable housing. But low spending caps will return in the 2018 fiscal year, unless the White House and Congress act again.

The budget cuts that are on the horizon threaten affordable housing and community development investments even further. (see chart, right) And that threatens millions of low income families. We need Congress to lift the spending caps and keep parity for defense and non-defense programs. That will bring the greatest highest level of funding possible for affordable housing.

The Upshot Is…

Yes, we have to work to reduce the U.S. deficit over the long-term. But balancing our budget shouldn’t be done on the backs of our low income families. Instead, we need to invest in the resources families and communities need to thrive. That builds stronger communities. And strong communities build a strong nation.


HMHI will keep you updated on ways you can help create the kind of national policy that will strengthen our nation. Visit our website frequently. Or better: sign up to receive our free e-news. We’ll stay in touch with you on ways you can help our lawmakers protect low income families and strengthen our Quad Cities.

For more information, we recommend A Place to Call Home by the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) of the National Low Income Housing Coalition from which the information in this article derived.

Garden of Eden Sale: April 29, 8-3pm in Moline

Garden of Eden Sale
Many items to browse at the Garden of Eden Sale.

Christ The King Catholic Church invites the public to attend its Social Concerns Garden of Eden Sale on Saturday, April 29 from 8am to 3pm. It’s held in the Believers Together Center located at 3209 60th Street in Moline, IL.

This annual rummage sale features thousands of items and includes furniture. The sale sponsors donate all funds they raise at the sale to organizations which help the needy. Your purchases will go to a good cause. We appreciate the support Christ the King Social Concerns group has given us at Humility of Mary Housing, Inc.

Garden of Eden Sale
Lots of furniture available at very good prices.

We encourage you to take advantage of the great bargains at the Garden of Eden Sale. Enjoy the items your purchase and enjoy the fact that you’re helping people in need.

Spring Benefit Sale: April 28-29–Savings for you that helps needy families

Fresh Start Benefit Sale

The Fresh Start Spring Benefit Sale, a major fundraising effort at Humility of Mary Housing, is soon here. It’s scheduled to occur on Friday, April 28 from 8 AM to 4 PM and on Saturday, April 29 from 9 AM to 3 PM. The sale takes place in Gertrude’s Fresh Start Boutique, on HMHI’s headquarters property at 3805 Mississippi Avenue in Davenport. This bi-annual sale builds on a long and respected tradition, occurring each spring and fall. It offers gently used furniture, clothing and housewares to the public at extraordinary low prices. All sales proceeds assist families experiencing homelessness in the Quad Cities.

sale
Bargain seekers flock to the Fresh Start sales!

Workers and volunteers prepare year-round for the two benefit sales events. Supporters in the Quad Cities donate a myriad of useful items. These help the single-parent families served by HMHI get established in an apartment. Well-equipped families are better able to escape the perils of homelessness. HMHI families access donations, fee-free. Twice each year, the Fresh Start sales make items that our families are unable to use available to the public at very reasonable prices. All sales proceeds directly support the programs that strengthen HMHI families.

Spring Benefit Sale

Fresh Start flier
Click to view in full size. Download and print!

This time, the sale will feature new lighted displays. We’re using them to highlight some lovely collectible and special occasion glassware currently for sale. We’ll highlight on this post any special items that arrive and will be offered at this sale.

Another special addition to this year’s sale is a small display of artwork created by some of our program participants. Their creations are worthy of your attention and help the viewer realize that “homeless” is a label that may obscure perceptions of intelligence and talent. See the person–not the label–when you view the beauty they create.

Follow our event page on Facebook which we update daily. And, we post the sale on the Quad Cities CraigsList site (HERE is that listing). Help us help by spreading the word! Download and print our flier to post in your home or workplace [Click flier image on the right]. Share this post (copy and paste this link in your emails or social media: http://humilityofmaryhousing.com/hmhi/fresh-start-spring-benefit-sale )

Fresh Start Donations Still Welcome

We encourage you to remember us when you find no-longer-needed items as you spring clean closets, basements, attics and garages! We receive donations Monday through Friday, 8am to 4pm (no after-hours drop offs, please). Bring your items to 3805 Mississippi Ave in Davenport by April 21 so we can include them in the spring sale. We ask that all items be clean and in working order.

Many families enter our program with little more than the clothing they are wearing. So, we are happy to receive furniture, clothing, housewares and supplies that will help them stock their apartments with basics for everyday life.

Charming Charlie Holds Charity Night for HMHI on February 24

Charming Charlie
Charming Charlie will donate 10% of designated sales to HMHI on Friday, Feb. 24 between 5 PM-8PM.

Charming Charlie in Davenport supports families experiencing homelessness. They want to help by hosting a charity night for the families we help here at HMHI. On Friday, February 24, from 5 PM to 8 PM, Charming Charlie will donate 10% of designated sales to our cause. We hope you’ll take advantage of their generosity and use the opportunity to enjoy their colorful shop, full of jewelry, handbags, apparel, and gifts. Charming Charlie Charity Night for HMHI adds another reason to say “TGIF” this Friday.

When you enter the store, located in Elmore Marketplace at 2419 Elmore Avenue [MAP], let them know that you’re shopping with our families in mind. They’ll give you a wristband that indicates at checkout that all your purchases will assist local homeless families.

Charming Charlie Charity Night Options

There is an amazing variety of colorful merchandise to browse at Charming Charlie. Wander among the totes, satchels, crossbody and shoulder bags, evening bags, clutches wallets, and wristlets. Browse keychains, glassware, home and kitchen, fragrance and beauty items, travel accessories. Delight in admiring all kinds of jewelry. Charming Charlie can also direct you to organization products, stationery, tech accessories, keychains, gift bags and boxes. That’s just the tip of the iceberg!

If you haven’t yet visited this great retail space, take advantage of this special shopping opportunity to explore Charming Charlie–just one story in the 40,000 feet of merchandise in Elmore Marketplace. In addition, you’ll find other stores there: DSW Shoes, Gap Factory Store, Banana Republic Factory Store, Charming Charlie, Carter’s, Lane Bryant, Pier 1 Imports, Beauty Brands (south of Holiday Inn and Suites), with Mattress Firm, Loft and Fleet Feet on the west side of the lot along Elmore Avenue.

Gather some friends. Make an evening of it. And, you can all feel good that your designated purchases at Charming Charlie will help less fortunate families.

 

New “Rent It Forward” Program Offers Opportunity to Local Family in Need

HMHI family
With assistance, this family is succeeding. They’re our first to participate in the new “Rent It Forward” program.

by Sandy Dimmer

Just under two years ago, Hayley and her three children’s lives were much different than today. At that time, Hayley and her children were displaced from their home due to an abusive relationship. Life was very difficult and stressful for each of them, but obtaining an apartment through HMHI gave this family a much appreciated fresh start.

“My life before HMHI was rough. I had no choice but to be dependent on other people to help me house my children. This kept me in a very unhealthy and unhappy relationship that affected and controlled every part of my life and my children’s lives.”

Hayley used her time in transitional housing to work hard and stabilize her family. She was employed for 18 of the 19 months she was in the program.

“Being given the opportunity to start fresh and on my own was the starting point in my new, and much better life. I felt free and structured all at once. Seeing my kids so happy in our new home gave me the strength to change as many other aspects of my life that I could. I am very grateful for the help I received and continue to receive and for the resources I never would have found without all the wonderful people I’ve met at HMHI.”

Rent It Forward Program

In October, Hayley’s family began a new chapter in their lives. They became one of the first families in HMHI’s newest program, “Rent It Forward.” Due to reduced grant funding this year, HMHI was faced with some difficult decisions. In an effort to continue the important work that we do serving single parent families experiencing homelessness in our community, the decision was made to turn six of our apartments into “Rent It Forward” units to partially fund the cost of a slightly smaller transitional housing program.

Rent amounts are not based on income for this program, but are a flat rate on the lower end of fair market rent. Priority is given to rent to HMHI participants who have successfully completed the program and have a stable income, but are still finding it difficult to find housing in the community and wish to continue renting from HMHI. This program still offers support, but is less structured and provides less intensive services than other programs offered through HMHI.

Hayley was happy to become a part of this program. She had been looking at other housing options in the area and thought that this was a good opportunity for her family. By renting through this program, Hayley could provide safe, affordable housing for her children while also giving back to the program that helped her during her time of need. She is proud of what she has accomplished and is happy to be able to help the families who will need our support in the future. “I am very happy for the chance to continue renting our home while also helping families just like us. Giving back is such a great feeling. I would like to thank everyone who has made this possible for my family.”

Recently, Hayley has had another positive change in her life as she has obtained her “dream job.” Hayley has always been a very talented artist and has occasionally sold her artwork to supplement her regular income. She has now, however, obtained employment with a graphic design company. Hayley stated that she loves her job so much that it doesn’t even feel like work!

These are thumbnails of some of Hayley’s art pieces.  Her art pieces can be viewed and purchased at the HMHI office through April 1.

Spring Fresh Start Benefit Sale Improvements and Preparations

shelf
Volunteer-created shelf will feature glassware at the next Fresh Start Sale.

 

lighting
Special lighting will enhance shoppers’ experience at the Fresh Start Sale.

Our team in the warehouse is already busy. Spring Fresh Start Benefit Sale preparations are underway. We’re also making sale improvements to enhance your shopping experience. The Spring Sale is scheduled for Friday, April 28 from 8 AM to 4 PM and Saturday, April 29 from 9 AM to 3 PM!

One really creative HMHI volunteer built backboards that we will be using for our diningware and glassware displays. And, we’ve added lighting! This is just one of the many sale improvements coming your way in the Spring Fresh Start Sale. As you’d expect, it will occur at Gertrude’s Fresh Start Boutique in our offices at 3805 Mississippi Avenue in Davenport.

Donations Accepted

Throughout the year we collect donations of clothing, furniture and household items for our families experiencing homelessness and struggling to escape its grip. Donations not utilized by our families go into the Benefit Sale. All proceeds from this sale support the program that provides support and education to our participant families.

Please remember us as you begin spring cleaning in closets, basements, attics and garages! We are open to receive donations Monday through Friday, 8am to 4pm.

Catholic Schools Cover Our Babes with Diapers

As a part of Catholic Schools Week 2017, the Davenport Catholic Schools conducted a diaper drive, collecting donations for local children in need. They blessed Humility of Mary Housing, Inc. with a very generous donation of diapers and wipes. These products will support the local families experiencing homelessness that our program serves.

diaper delivery
Assumption High School students delivered pallets of diapers to us last week.

The local Catholic schools raised approximately 20,000 diapers and 40,000 wipes by soliciting donations from the classes in local schools: St. Paul the Apostle School, John F Kennedy School, Lourdes Catholic School in Bettendorf, All Saints Catholic School and Assumption High School. In addition to donating to Humility of Mary Housing, they also donated the diapers and wipes to Bethany for Children and Families and to Women’s Choice Center of the Quad Cities.

The students participated in various contests among the classes to incentivize the collection process. Mike Frieden, Director of Student Success and Student Council Advisor at Assumption High School, was grateful for their engagement in the project.

“Communities of Service”

The theme for the National Catholic Schools Week 2017, January 29 to February 4, was “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” Students delivered four pallets of diapers and wipes to us at Humility of Mary. We are extremely grateful. Our families will value this service. These products will give our families extra support in a useful and practical way.

HMHI will serve as donation hub for all Humility of Mary operations [Press Release]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 20, 2017

Contact: 
Patti Trapp, Volunteer Coordinator
Humility of Mary Housing, Inc
3805 Mississippi Avenue
Davenport IA  52807
563-326-1330

Humility of Mary Housing to provide donation ‘hub’ for all Humility of Mary operations

donation hub
The donation hub at Humility of Mary Housing provides space to centralize all agency donations.

Humility of Mary Housing, Inc. (HMHI) will become the donation ‘hub’ for all Humility of Mary agencies beginning February 1, 2017. Donations that in the past were dropped off at Humility of Mary Shelter (HMSI) at 1016 W. 5th St. Davenport, will now only be received at Humility of Mary Housing (HMHI), 3805 Mississippi Ave. Donations can be dropped off Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

By creating a central hub we will give all our donors convenience for drop offs while saving agency staff time and creating much needed space for expansion at Shelter. 

With the expansion at Shelter and ongoing needs at Housing we anticipate a tremendous shortage of furniture over the next few months. We are in need of: small couches or loveseats, 2 to 4 seat dinette tables with chairs, nightstands, chest type dressers, microwaves and table lamps. If you have any of these items to donate, please bring them to HMHI donation center.  A monetary donation of $144.00 will purchase a bed for a person experiencing homelessness. To make a monetary donation towards the purchase of a bed, please contact the Housing office at 563-326-1330.

Donation hub needs

As always, we also accept donations of clothing, dishes, pots and pans, towels, sheets, pillows, accessories, etc. Please see our website for a complete needs list: http://humilityofmaryhousing.com/volunteer/

If you have any questions, please call Patti at Humility of Mary Housing, 563-326-1330. Thank you for your ongoing support.

 

FLASH Sale at HMHI on November 17

Flash Sale Nov 17, 2016

HMHI is holding a mini Flash Sale on Thursday, November 17, from 9 am to 1 pm at our headquarters at 3805 Mississippi Avenue in Davenport. [map] The warehouse is full of amazing donations. We want to make room. Its your opportunity to bag a bargain–just in time to jump-start your holiday shopping.

Household items, furniture, collectibles, toys, books, jewelry, dishes, bedding, gift items, clothing and lots of miscellaneous. You never know what you’ll find. Many items are new-in-box or new-with-tags. Every item has been tested; it’s all in working order. There are many holiday items and lots of winter clothing.

FLASH Sale: November 17, 2016

Flickr Album Gallery Powered By: Weblizar

All proceeds from this sale will benefit local families experiencing homelessness who are served by Humility of Mary Housing, Inc.

Bring us a gallon of laundry detergent OR a 24 pkg of toilet paper for a family in need and we’ll give you $5 off your shopping! Our prices are very low, so this will go a long way!

The sale hours are limited. Our regularly scheduled sale will occur again in Spring 2017.

#GivingTuesday 2016–You can help!

givingtuesday2016

Humility of Mary Housing has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. You can participate by using the special online donation gateway: HumilityofMaryHousing.com/givingtuesday.

Occurring this year on November 29, #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the U.S.. The widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday kick-off the holiday giving season. That inspires people to collaborate in improving their local communities. They also want a way to give back significantly to the charities and causes they support.

Humility of Mary Housing joins the #GivingTuesday movement this year for the first time. Participation is sparked by a $1000 matching grant provided by an anonymous supporter. This means that the first $1000 in donations received that day will be matched, doubling their impact.

Fund a Project via #GivingTuesday

Sister Mary Ann Vogel, CHM, of the HMHI Development Board, says the Board hopes that #GivingTuesday will build on the agency’s Fund-a-Project concept, introduced this fall. This project fund invites the public to contribute to support local families attempting to escape homelessness. Increasing levels of support provide greater assistance:

  • A child’s diapers for one month–$60 contribution
  • A mattress/box spring for a child–$150 contribution
  • Utility cost for a family for one month–$200 contribution
  • Support one HMHI family for one month–$1000 contribution

A cultural center in New York City that joins people around core values of community service and giving back named 92Y first conceptualized #GivingTuesday. The day offers a new way of linking individuals and causes to strengthen communities and encourage giving. In 2015, the fourth year of the movement, the project brought together over 45,000 partners in 71 countries and raised nearly $117 Million online in the US alone.

Those who care to join Humility of Mary Housing’s #GivingTuesday initiative can visit Http://humilityofmaryhousiing.com/givingtuesday to make a secure, online, tax-deductible contribution via PayPal or with their credit card.

For more details about the #GivingTuesday movement, visit the website, Facebook page or follow @GivingTues and the #GivingTuesday hashtag on social media.