Davenport citizens: Survey input can help the homeless (by September 24)

Davenport Iowa map
Moderate to low income areas of Davenport are indicated in orange on the map.

A short online survey by the City of Davenport gives citizens the chance to help send federal funds to housing rehabilitation and economic development. The eight question survey will accept input until September 24.

The City of Davenport may focus Community Development Block Grant funds for housing rehabilitation and economic development in specific areas of the City based on the income of residents. This would provide important assistance to our HMHI program and participants. Your support of the proposal will help make it happen.

Community Development Block Grant funds are federal dollars that must be used for low to moderate income people. A portion of these funds can be used to support non-profits. This portion has decreased significantly (approximately $100,000) over the past two years. So the city must determine its priorities.

Fifteen different non-profits programs could benefit from $260,000 in CDBG money. Each of these programs addresses a different community need and therefore supports a different population.

The survey questions will help city officials determine a high, medium, and low priority to support these population groups in the future:

  • Homeless/Shelter
  • People with AIDS
  • People in need of transportation
  • People in need of affordable housing,
  • Physically and mentally handicapped,
  • Seniors,
  • Survivors of domestic violence/sexual abuse, and
  • Youth.

We hope you will consider the needs of families without homes as you offer your input.

Click through here or copy and paste this link in to your browser to access the survey: http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e689xb7ah5jlef9y/start

Leading by example, HMHI’s Debra Morgan achieves her dream

Debra Morgan and quilt
Quilter Debra Morgan realized her dream when President Obama signed the quilt project she created (seen behind her): “Journey Quilt.”

Goals are achieved through hard work and determination, and HMHI’s Debra Morgan can speak to her participants with authority on that subject. Her quilting creation, entitled “Journey Quilt,” now bears the signature of a sitting U.S. president.

The project’s panels depict the struggles and successes of African-Americans through U.S. history, from slavery through civil rights to national leadership.

Completing the quilt was accomplishment enough. But Debra’s dream was even bigger:

 “Ever since I created the quilt, my goal was to have President Obama sign it.”

Obama’s recent visit to Davenport gave Debra the opportunity to make her dream come true. The Argus-Dispatch article by Dawn Neuses tells the story of how Debra was able to secure that signature.

Her next goal is to use the quilt as a way to inspire. She told the Argus that the quilt relates a story about all people coming together to create a new world. It is message for all, especially children, she said.

For several years Debra has served as a site manager for HMHI families affected by mental illness and/or brain injury. Her presence provides on-site support for those HMHI parents and children. We know that her message and her presence will continue to inspire our participants. Now, thanks to the cooperation of President Obama and to her generously sharing the story of her own dream-come-true, she has also inspired the greater community of the Quad Cities.

For more photos of Debra and the quilt, see the impressive gallery by photographer Paul Colletti of the Argus.

Join HMHI for jazz brunch: Good food, good music, great cause!

jazz brunch
New Orleans Jazz Brunch — a great event for a great cause

We’re celebrating 22 years of service to the Quad Cities with a New Orleans style Jazz Brunch at Crow Valley Golf Club [map] on Sunday, September 23 from 11am to 2pm.  Popular Chicago vocalist Sarah Marie Young will again star as our featured entertainer, supported by a pianist and a string bass player.  Having earned first place standing in the international Montreux Jazz Voice Competition in Switzerland last year, Sarah Marie shines as a performer of international prominence, performing for us in an intimate setting.

The Jazz Brunch features the magnificent New Orleans Jazz Brunch buffet which includes desserts and a glass of champagne or mimosa. Tickets for the buffet and entertainment in a lovely setting are $60 per person.  A cash bar is available.  Reserve your place by sending reservation checks or credit card information to our office [attention: Sister Mary Ann Vogel]. You may also pick up invitations at our Davenport office on 3805 Mississippi or simply call 563/326-1330 for information.

Our Jazz Brunch is a recurring event, but this year we’re adding an auction to the line-up. One item on the block is the opportunity for you and your friends to have lunch with either Sam Allen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Deere and Company, or Joan Lescinski, CSJ, PhD., President of St. Ambrose University.

With the help our our contributors, we have proudly provided supportive housing for 711 single parents and their 1391 children during these past 22 years.  These families were homeless at the time they entered the program.  By providing single parents with the tools and support they need to complete degrees, find jobs, and move into their own homes, we’ve helped many families move into housing independence.  Children learn there is a different way to live; some have become the first in their family to complete high school and continue into college.

We receive over 400 applications from single parent families, including nearly 600 children, each year. However, HMHI has space and staff to provide services to only 47 of these families at any one time.

Please join us in our celebration and support this valuable community asset. Good food and good music supports a great cause. With your help, the good work will continue!

HMHI supporter promotes organic heirloom gardening to our participants

Theresa Molden
Theresa Molden shared 50 tomato seedlings with HMHI this spring.

Theresa Molden got inspired this spring. She planted dozens of organic heirloom tomato seeds and carefully raised them to seedlings. Theresa, who has previously volunteered at Humility of Mary Housing through her employer, McGladrey LLP, then generously gave fifty of her seedlings to HMHI so that our families can raise their own vegetables. Now, tomato plants are growing in pots and gardens at many of our properties, and parents and children in our program can look forward to tasty tomatoes later this summer!

We’re continually amazed by the creative ways our supporters help  our participants and us.

We’re grateful to Theresa, and to you, our blog readers, for your ongoing interest in and support of our work.

New Davenport store pledges assistance to HMHI

A new store in town provides upscale resale shopping…and promotes HMHI, too! Junk in My Trunk, which opened this month, sells vintage items, new items, arts and crafts, and much more at 3127 Brady Street in Davenport. The new owner, Jenni Corson, is just setting up shop, but–even in the midst of all the opening week details–she’s remembering those less fortunate, too. She’s designated each Monday as “Mary’s Mondays” and pledged to donate 20% of her profits to HMHI each Monday.

Junk In My Trunk logo
A new Davenport store is promoting Humility of Mary Housing.

According to their new Facebook page, you can expect to find “the best bargains on Brady Street in Davenport, IA!” at Junk in My Trunk.  Furniture, home decor, sports memorabilia, children’s items, and dishes all co-mingle attractively–along with other great merchandise. Everything is clean and very attractively arranged, making shopping enjoyable…and priced right to be affordable.

Help Junk in My Trunk get a rousing welcome to the Quad Cities by visiting their store, by liking them on Facebook, and by participating in “Mary’s Mondays.” In so doing, your retail experience will benefit not only you, but also the single-parent families of HMHI who are working hard everyday to regain housing independence for themselves.

We’re grateful for the boost we’re going to receive from Junk in My Trunk and from its Monday patrons. We hope you’ll be one of them. They’re open Monday through Saturday, from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm. [But especially remember to shop on Mondays!]

Convenient parking is available in their lot and on the street. For more information, call 563-676-7058 and/or 563-639-8885.

HMHI’s Family Night at the Family Museum delivered a great time

HMHI family night benefit
Children, learning and activities all added up to fun at HMHI’s benefit evening at the Family Museum in Bettendorf.

Colorful images, positive energy and good feeling abounded at HMHI’s benefit evening at the Family Museum in Betterdorf on Saturday. Children begged for “just five more minutes” as the clock struck closing time. But, after three hours of nonstop activity, at least some parents were ready to call it an evening.

Many sponsors and benefactors contributed to make the event a low-cost, high-interest entertainment option for Quad Cities families. Royal Neighbors of America was our principle event sponsor. Food and beverage was contributed by J H Lass Co. and McDonald’s. Balloon artist Karen Habenicht charmed young and old. The HMHI Development Committee planned, prepared and carried out the evening, supported by helpful volunteers.

Enjoy the myriad sights and feel the joy of the evening as you view this short collection of images from our Family Night at the Family Museum!
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSLDya4GA1E]

Family night at Family Museum promises fun…and funds for HMHI

Building Brainstorm event invitation

We hope you’ll bring your family to our “Building Brainstorm” night at the Family Museum in Bettendorf this weekend. The special activities there will involve everyone, offering creative and challenging projects to promote thinking and cooperative learning. This event also helps raise funding so that we at HMHI can help families struggling to establish secure housing.

The event is this Saturday, June 9, from 5-8 PM. “Building Brainstorm” features a traveling design exhibit, a presentation composed of seven stations that are entirely hands-on. [Click here for a MAP to the Family Museum in Bettendorf.]

Volunteers will serve a child-appealing meal to all: hotdogs, chips, cookies, and drink. It’s included with your admission. You can also expect special entertainment: Karen Habenicht, the popular balloon artist from our 2011 night, will again create individual balloon sculptures and “hats,” all made-to-order to reflect each child’s interests.

All the museum’s regular exhibits are also open. Because the Family Museum is planning to completely refurbish the exhibits this fall, Saturday offers a great opportunity to see your favorites while they are still available.

Best of all, the admission charge is only $5, offering a nice discount from the regular museum price. So our event offers fun, learning, and food–all for an affordable price! To top that off, you have the satisfaction of knowing that you and your family are helping less fortunate families while enjoying this interactive event.

We want to thank our event sponsor, Royal Neighbors of America who are helping us make this opportunity possible. Let your friends and relatives in the Quad Cities know about this event.

And we hope to see you there.

Davenport chiropractor’s promotion benefits HMHI

Dr. Marty Stine and family
Dr. Marty Stine and family (Photo courtesy of Stine Chiropractic)

Davenport chiropractor Dr. Marty Stine is offering an incentive to patients at Stine Chiropractic that will benefit HMHI’s single-parent families. Simply by donating four canned or boxed food items that will benefit participants of Humility of Mary Housing, Inc. participants, patients can receive a free exam and consultation with the doctor.

Stine Chiropractic opened a new office that’s conveniently located in downtown Davenport at 400 Main Street, Suite 401 [click here to view map].

Dr. Stine is a Palmer graduate who offers patients 15 years experience of family based chiropractic care. His offer is valid until June 30, so phone 563/324-8888 soon to make your appointment.

Food donations will go directly to our pantry, supplying the kitchens of families participating in our program. Receiving the assistance of donated food and household necessities allows our families to align their resources to move more rapidly toward housing stability.

Dr. Stine’s generous offer represents just one of the myriad ways our supporters contributions turn housing independence from being simply a possibility into a reality for our participants.

Changing lives is a challenging goal, but with the support of both our Quad Cities community and also many others from afar, we do see lives changing for the better: children given brighter futures, single parents upheld and strengthened.

We’re grateful for Dr. Stine’s support. And that reminds us to say that we are grateful–and inspired–by the creative ways our committed benefactors contribute to help our program’s families. Thank you all!

HMHI Spring Benefit Sale: A new twist on an old tradition

HMHI benefit sale
Buyers flocked to peruse and purchase at HMHI’s spring benefit sale.

Humility of Mary’s Fresh Start Sale built on a tradition of more than 20 years of turning gently used, donated items into funding for families lacking homes. It began in the garage of Gertrude Vogel, long-time supporter and now a nonogenarian who is still active in this fundraising event.  While Gertrude never stopped selling, eventually the largest annual sale event outgrew her garage and operated for many years at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds.

But this year, we brought the sale home–to our own office building.

On May 19-20 the spring benefit sale premiered in our own facility. Supporters found the items they love in a new location. That was challenging for the HMHI staff, explained Mindy Molck, HMHI office manager, but because it was closer to us, it was also easier on the staff who needed to do less hauling of items and could streamline the set-up and breakdown portion of the sale.

Buyers were really pleased with the sale items this year because there was lots of furniture–always popular–and many particularly nice items. Another new aspect was the inclusion of clothing, the first time this has been possible for the large sale.

“We’ll build on this first sale’s foundation,” Mindy remarked as she noted the upcoming autumn sale, tentatively slated for October 2012. Organizers are hoping to increase attendance, making the public aware that these semi-annual sales at the office building will replace the Fairgrounds event.

Our Benefit Sale Weekend: New location for great value

2011 sale
This QC Times photo from 2011 shows the magnitude of our sale!

Our annual benefit sale has a new Davenport location this weekend: 3805 Mississippi Avenue. Our new office building and donation center is large enough to accommodate a wealth of donated items we’ll be selling from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 19, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 20.

Our office building is located off Kimberly Avenue, between Bridge and Eastern Streets, just north of the Habitat ReStore and east of Dahl Ford.

The sale continues to carry a large selection of gently used and new items, all in working condition. Sale items include house wares, bedding, toys, jewelry, gift items, furniture, books, games and much more. This year clothing has been added to the sale. Our prices are very reasonable!

All sale proceeds help us provide housing and program services for single parents and their children who have been homeless.

There will be two sales annually, one in the spring and another in the fall.

Don’t miss our new location: View Larger Map! We hope to see you this weekend.