Local family recovers from domestic violence through HMHI program

Laureen and her two children survive domestic violence
Laureen and her children are overcoming challenges and creating a better future with the help of the Humility of Mary supportive housing program.

Laureen and her two children, Andre and Andrea, are survivors of domestic violence who currently participate in our supportive housing program. This family inspires us as they work hard to heal the damage left from the chaos of their former life. Laureen says she’s learning now to take each day, each step, deliberately, and to choose the best path possible for herself and her children. When interviewed, Laureen candidly explained how she adressed and sought for mental health issues in this recovery process. Now she’s pursuing more education to help her better manage her family’s finances.

Domestic violence leads to homelessness for many families. The Humility of Mary program becomes a lifeline to single-parents who come to grips with the issue and move forward determinedly toward a better future. Laureen’s own words explain what this means on a personal level:

The Humility of Mary Housing program has become a Beacon of Hope for me and my family. As an expectant single mother with two teens I so appreciate HMHI. Everyone–from the secretary to the director, and even the volunteers–everyone has been a wonderful blessing to me and my family. With their support, we have housing and all our basic needs are covered.

We feel safe and we have a better hope for our future with the help and support of this program.

I believe homelessness should be a thing of the past. I believe this program needs all the sponsors and support available, because HMHI takes on many different kinds of families in need: those with mental health issues, domestic violence victims, and more.

Housing support is most important in trying times, as there is no longer affordable housing in the Quad Cities area. This program is such a blessing to this city, and the help they have given to generations of families to prosper is incredible. I believe supporting Humility of Mary Housing is well worth the financial investment, in all aspects, for the future of families in crisis in the Quad Cities.

The continued support of the generous individuals and organizations that make our work possible create a better future for families in our community. Domestic violence, a cruel reality, can be survived. Futures are transformed at Humility of Mary Housing, through community support.

Jazz Brunch 2016: Helps families recover their lives

Jazz Brunch 2016
The 7th annual Jazz Brunch delights, dines and delivers aid to families in need of a place to live.

“Let the Good Times Roll” proclaims the 7th Annual Jazz Brunch to benefit Humility of Mary Housing, Inc. Once again the beautiful and spacious Crow Valley Golf Club clubhouse will set the stage to host this dining delight. By popular acclaim, Margaret Murphy and her musical friends will return from the South Side of Chicago to add their smooth jazz atmosphere to the French Bistro theme.

jazz brunch

The event takes place on Sunday, September 25 from 11 AM until 2 PM. The menu will delight, and it includes a complimentary glass of champaign or mimosa. The buffet bar will highlight fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, combined in amazing sauces to create unforgettable entrees. Your meal will close with a dessert bar, so save room for an elegant ending.

The event will benefit Quad Cities’ families who are suffering homelessness, served by Humility of Mary Housing. This event is a major annual fundraiser for the program that to date has provided stability to 823 families, including 1,615 children. All-inclusive tickets are $75 and are available to the public. Call the Humility of Mary Housing office at (563) 556-1330 to reserve your seat. [Link to map: Davenport, IA–Crow Valley Golf Club]

A live auction will enliven the program. High ticket items, including condo vacation packages and exclusive dining parties, will be announced soon by the Development Committee planning the event. Event sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact committee members Amy Allen, Amy Chris, Thad DenHartog, Kim Flaherty-Grampp, Jane Rouse, Amy Scodeller, Kay Sigardson-Poor, and Sr. Mary Ann Vogel. An album of photos from last year’s Jazz Brunch is available on Flickr.

jazz brunch 2016

Thousands attend Fresh Start Sale, Help local families experiencing homelessness

thanks Spring Sale
Our Spring Fresh Start Sale was a record-breaker. Your purchases will help local families who are experiencing homelessness.

HMHI’s major spring fundraiser last weekend, the Fresh Start Sale, set a record in raising funding to assist the families experiencing homelessness who benefit from the proceeds. The event was very well attended on Saturday and Sunday.

Fresh Start Sale Manager, Patti Trapp, credits the hard work of her team of regulars and event volunteers for the success of this spring sale. “People ran themselves ragged,” she recounted, as she reflected on the busy days of the sale. Customers commented that the sale was very well organized, the result of weeks of preparation.

The sale days were long days. It opened to the public at 8 AM and ran uninterrupted until 4 PM each day. Customers who wanted to access the best selection formed a long line as they waited for the doors to open. And customers waited patiently in a line again to pay for their newly-acquired bargains.

Public excitement about the sale prompted Facebook to send notice of it to tens of thousands of accounts. Many users shared the news. Others effusively thanked Humility of Mary Housing for the opportunity to help others while also getting items they needed. One commented: “I went today, came out with 2 bags full. Spent only $17.50 and it’s for a good cause.”

Fresh Start Sale Features

Saturday’s 50% price slash of the already-low clothing prices brought in throngs, who carried out purchases of designer and other major brand names like Jones New York, Ralph Lauren, Alfred Dunner, Talbots, Chicos, Coldwater Creek, White/Black, GAP, Ann Taylor, Eddie Bauer, Lands’ End, Haggar, Banana Republic, J. Jill, apt. 9, Pendleton, Vera Wang, Claiborne, Chaps, Tommy Bahama, Van Heusen, IZOD, J. Crew, and Dockers.

News Channel 4 provided extensive coverage of the sale, in a clip [CHANNEL 4 NEWS] featuring interviews with Patti Trapp, shoppers and sale volunteers.

Patti Trapp says that now work begins that will culminate in the Fall Fresh Start Sale, scheduled for the final weekend  in September. The donation center is again open for clothing and household goods that families can use to help them get themselves settled and stabilized in housing.

Micro Volunteer Week: April 10-15 at HMHI

micro volunteer weekHMHI is celebrating Micro Volunteer Week April 10-15 by providing volunteer activities that supporters can accomplish at home in just minutes a day. These actions help raise public awareness of the important work HMHI accomplishes as it houses single-parent families experiencing homelessness.

Micro Volunteer Week Activities

Sunday, April 10    Sign Up Online HERE

Volunteer in your pj’s! Acquaint yourself with our website and Facebook page. Read our articles, add comments and share with your friends! Help us raise awareness of our work!  Pledge your support for the micro volunteer week by filling out the Micro Volunteer Form online CLICK HERE.

Monday, April 11

Facebook overlay
Facebook overlay
selfie with HMHI sign


Your selfie can make a difference!  Take a selfie with an ’I support HMHI’ sign and post it on your Facebook page. Or add the special HMHI overlay to your Facebook profile picture. It’s easy: just click here to add the overlay to your Facebook profile photo.

Tuesday, April 12

Birdies for Charity logoBirdies for Charity is coming soon! The John Deere Classic, ‘Birdies for Charity’ will pledge drive begins this month. Sign up online [CLICK HERE] to receive HMHI’s Birdies pledge card in the mail. Let’s make this Birdies event the best one yet! Through this fund-raising event, John Deere supports many local charities, including HMHI’s program to house local families experiencing homelessness.

Wednesday, April 13

Donate/Challenge Day!  $35 supports one family for one day in our program that assists families experiencing homelessness. Donate any amount and challenge your friends, family and co-workers to do the same. Contribute on our DONATE NOW PayPal link–it’s convenient and secure.

Thursday, April 14

Help Fill Pantry Shelves/Support HMHI!  Bring a 12 pack of toilet paper or a large jug of laundry soap to HMHI at 3805 Mississippi Ave., Davenport 52807 between 8 am and 3 pm. See our needs list for other items to contribute. Stay and spend 15 – 30 minutes helping us process donations. Can’t come in? Write a message to encourage a parent escaping homelessness, and mail it to our office.

Friday, April 15

The Spring Fresh Start Benefit Sale is Friday and Saturday April 29 & 30, from 8 am to 4 pm. Share the Fresh Start Benefit Sale event info widely. Download and print copies of the event flyer and post them at work, school, church…everywhere!

Want to become a regular HMHI volunteer? Call the office, 563-326-1330 and ask for Patti for details.

Learn more about micro volunteering in this short video:

HMHI Changed Anitra’s Life: Her Story

Anitra turned her life around with HMHI’s help.

Hi, my name is Anitra. In 2001, my life changed drastically and I turned to Humility of Mary for help. I was a mother of three when my husband abandoned us. I cannot explain the confusion, turmoil and fear I felt. At that time I was going to school full time and working part time.  Without his income, eviction soon followed. Suddenly I was faced with homelessness. I contacted HMHI with no way of knowing if we could get help or not. Very soon, I got a call and my family was placed in a unit.

I wish I could describe the tears of joy and relief I felt knowing that my children would have a roof over their heads thanks to this program. At that moment, I had to make a decision; sink or swim–I decided to swim. I participated in this program to the fullest, and it was so helpful. I attended the required classes for each level I reached. I made all of my appointments with my Service Coordinator. I kept the property spotless and passed all inspections. In return, this program helped me set goals, taught me how to budget and how to pay bills on time.  If we needed clothing, housing supplies or food, they provided it and if I just needed someone to talk to, my Service Coordinator gave me a listening ear and advice.

Anitra’s career success

Because of this program, I was able to graduate from the LPN Program at a local college in May 2003. My family and I moved shortly after that to a 2 bedroom apartment. I studied and was able to pass the state nursing boards the very first time! I got hired at the first place I applied and work as an LPN there from 2003-2013. While there, I worked as a floor nurse, obtained immeasurable nursing skills. Promotions came; nurse management, Assistant Director of Nurses, Alzheimer’s Unit Coordinator, then Careplan/MDS Coordinator. When the facility closed I feared my life would take a downward spiral but by the Grace of God, we made it through. We kept our house, had food to eat, our health and each other.

I enrolled in the Associates Degree in Nursing program at a college in Ottumwa, IA and I graduated from the R.N. Program in August 2015. I am currently studying to take the Board exams. My children are all thriving! My oldest is 24 and works full time. My 19 year old son currently attends a local college. My 16 year old son and 13 year old daughter are both actively involved in local schools.

My advice to participants is:

  • We are humans who make poor decisions and mistakes but do not let that define who you are and who you are to your children.
  • What should define you is what and how YOU decide to overcome your obstacles.
  • Listen to your HMHI service coordinator! Remember they want to see you succeed in life. They are not working against you, trust me. These strict rules and regulations are in place to provide the structure you probably always needed in your life.
  • Pay attention in those classes because I’m sure there is at least one thing you will learn there.
  • Set realistic goals for success and remember small victories are victories none the less.
  • Remember you entered this program because you love your children and want to do what’s best for them, so just do it!

Thank you!

Fresh Start Spring Sale: April 29 & 30

spring fresh start sale
Don’t miss this spring event! Get ready for summer…frugally!

The Fresh Start Spring Sale at Gertrude’s Boutique in Humility of Mary Housing will be April 29 & 30, from 8am to 4pm each day. It’s not too late to bring in your donations of gently-used, working items.

Frugal shoppers in the Quad Cities area await these semi-annual sales for good reason. Their purchases assist families that are working hard to escape homelessness. And their purchases of gently-used merchandise–clothing, furniture and household goods–provide quality items for a fraction of the cost of the same items purchased new.

Fresh Start Spring 2016 flier
Fresh Start Spring 2016 flier (click for flier download)

Are you interested in volunteering to work at the sale? With 16 hours to serve the public, we can use your help. Call 563/326-1330 and ask for Patti. We’ll find a spot for you to do something to help that you’ll enjoy, and you can choose your hours, too.

The sale takes place in our headquarters on 3805 Mississippi Ave, Davenport [MAP]. There’s lots of space in an indoor, climate-controlled warehouse. You’ll be able to roam our wide aisles and bargain hunt comfortably, no matter what the spring weather brings.

You’re welcome and encouraged to download our Fresh Start Sale flier to distribute and/or to remind you of the sale. Click the photo (right) or this LINK.

We hope to see you at the Spring Fresh Start sale!

HMHI’s March shelving dreams: Make ’em come true!

With $200 in capitol, we’ll have first-class storage shelving for our new pantry area.

We have a dream at HMHI. It’s a simple one, but we need a bit more help to achieve it. To help us stay organized, we want to build two 8 foot rolling racks, complete with shelves and hanging rods for clothing storage. The racks we envision will be a bit modified, but a version of the one pictured in the photo at the top of this post. The goal is to have this project completed by the end of March.

Volunteers are standing by, ready to construct them. We need your help to purchase supplies needed for the project. Total cost of all materials is approximately $200.

Storage Racks, Ready to Roll!

We’ll use these rolling storage racks to help us distribute donations to our participating families efficiently and effectively. Not built for beauty, they’re going to be our workhorses!

If you can help us reach our March goal, please earmark your donation for our March shelving project. You can donate via the “Donate Now” link to make a secure online donation. Or, simply mail or drop off a check at our HMHI office:  3608 Mississippi Avenue, Davenport, IA 52806.

Let us know you’re helping us with our shelving needs. We’ll update this post when we’ve collected funding to purchase the supplies. Thank you for partnering with us to make the lives of struggling families easier and helping them achieve a brighter future.

Change will improve pantry services for HMHI participants

pantry servicesWe’ve observed a trend that prompts us to change our pantry services to HMHI’s families. State and federal governments are beginning to implement many of the same requirements to local food pantries as are used in the restaurant industry. There are increased requirements in reporting. We anticipate that soon even privately run pantries will be required to have restaurant grade refrigeration and storage. These changes are simply beyond our reach financially and outside our scope of housing work with our families.

So, we’ve decided to shift the focus of our pantry services from food. Going forward, we’ll focus our efforts on providing much-needed paper goods and cleaning supplies. These items are not available at local food pantries nor can they be purchased with food stamps.

Food help still available

pantry services
Cleaning supplies cannot be purchased with SNAP (food stamps).

For food assistance, our families will be able to access area food pantries that are run by Churches United. There’s one conveniently located near all of our properties. These pantries are much better stocked, providing our families with a better selection of goods on a regular basis.

Thanks for your past support of HMHI’s pantry. We hope that you’ll continue to support us by shifting the focus of your donations from food goods to household goods. You can download our 2016 needs list for your reference. If you have any questions, please let us know. Call Churches United offices (563.332.5002) to find the food pantry that serves your neighborhood to drop off food donations.

In order to succeed, every organization must grow and adapt with the changing times.  We are excited about this decision as we feel that our participant family support will be enhanced through these changes.  We hope that you agree and will continue your support with a renewed focus.

Scott County Housing Council gets $400K+ Iowa funds for local affordable housing

Iowa Finance Authority
Influx of state funding will boost local affordable housing in Scott and Muscatine Counties.

The Iowa Finance Authority Board of Directors recently approved more than $6.3 million in grants to 27 Local Housing Trust Funds to support local affordable housing initiatives. This will assist 2,469 Iowa families. The Scott County Housing Council (SCHC) received $409,961 of that funding. This money is designated specifically to assist organizations in our area.

Humility of Mary Housing, Inc. and Humility of Mary Shelter, Inc., each agency a participating member of the Scott County Housing Council, will benefit from this major grant. Muscatine and Scott Counties fall in the SCHC’s area of jurisdiction.

Scott County Housing Boost

“The partnership between the Iowa Finance Authority and Local Housing Trust Funds is one that pays dividends to affordable housing in Iowa,” said Iowa Finance Authority Executive Director Dave Jamison. “The grants announced today are leveraging an additional $2.7 million in local contributions, which is a testament to the shared commitment to meeting these vital housing needs.”

This money comes from The State Housing Trust Fund, a fund the Iowa Legislature created in 2003. Since its inception, the program has provided $50.1 million in affordable housing assistance. This funding has helped more than 17,600 Iowa families. Additionally, this funding has leveraged another $151.2 million in other funds or $2.68 for every dollar of State Housing Trust Fund investment.

Wrapping up Christmas at HMHI

by Patti Trapp, HMHI Volunteer Coordinator, HMHI Communications

wrapping up ChristmasAs we draw to near to Christmas, we’re working feverishly to complete work on vacant apartments, delivering Christmas trees to families and collecting last minute gifts from family wish lists. We’re wrapping up Christmas preparations.

While checking each list twice, I realized that some wishes on angel trees were missed or not taken, which resulted in making a couple of phone calls to supporters who had volunteered to do last minute shopping–even on Christmas Eve.

Yesterday I e-mailed a three item list to a supporter who happened to email the day before asking if we needed any last minute shopping. I got an e-mail back stating that she was on a conference call and would call me soon, but in the meantime she had already ordered an item online and delivery is expected tomorrow! She already had plans to get the other two items over the weekend. All items will be here on before Christmas.

Christmas Blessings!

We’re so blessed to have such awesome people willing to jump in and help when asked!

We hope that all of our supporters have a wonderful holiday, that all of your lists have already been checked twice. If asked, we will be sure to tell Santa that on our list there are no ‘naughties’, only nice! ​