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

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


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.

Jazz Brunch Live Auction 2016

jazz bunch
The 2016 benefit Jazz Brunch includes a live auction event.

The 2016 Jazz Brunch, a benefit event combining music and buffet, takes place Sunday, September 25 from 11 AM until 2 PM at the Crow Valley Golf Club. Proceedings are enlivened by the auction of high-ticket offerings that will create lasting memories for those who win them. Herb Burns of Burns Auction Service returns again this year to conduct the proceedings. The Humility of Mary Developement Committee has announced this year’s prizes:

  • Get away in the Quad Cities with one night’s lodging at the new Rhythm City Casino Resort along with two complementary dinners at Robert’s Buffet. Make your date and enjoy its sophisticated interior design, outstanding personal service and modern amenities. Let them envelope you in total luxury and comfort.
  • Impress your guests with dinner for 8 at Hemispheres Bistro and experience new dining in the Quad Cities.  Share a flavorful meal from Chef Aman Razdan’s modern and globally ethnic menu. Relish healthy, flavorful food choices that use fresh ingredients.
  • Make memories in Titletown! This package entitles you to two tickets at the Green Bay Packers’ November 6, 2016 home game with the Indianapolis Colts. You’ll receive exclusive, private air transport from the Quad Cities. Make personal arrangements for an unforgettable weekend!
  • Football and Holiday Shopping Week-end in Chicago ~ December 2 – 4, 2016.  A great weekend getaway for two couples! Your package includes: A two bedroom condo in the West Loop with parking; two tickets to the Chicago Bears vs San Francisco game on December 4 and a $100 gift certificate to Girl and the Goat for tasty, bold flavored foods with global influence in a fun, lively setting.
  • crist co condoEnjoy your stay at a privately-owned, 2 bedroom/2 bath-room condo overlooking Lake Dillon in Colorado. Located less than five minutes to downtown Frisco and downtown Dillon, it sleeps six comfortably. Lying in the heart of Colorado ski country, it’s just 30 minutes to resorts at Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Arapahoe Basin, Keystone and Vail. Hop on the bike trail right across the street! [Transportation to condo not included]

Tickets to the event are available by phoning the HMHI Office at 563/326-1330 and are $75. All proceeds benefit Quad Cities families that are experiencing homelessness. The HMHI program provides housing and support services that promote self-sufficiency.

Message from a grateful HMHI program participant

Tina, a participant in HMHI’s permanent supportive housing program, expresses her appreciation and gratitude.

With the help of our supporters, HMHI can provide assistance to struggling and grateful single parent families in need. While many are aware of the housing assistance we provide to families who have nowhere to live, many are unaware of the many supportive elements of assistance we offer. With the help of wrap-around assistance, it becomes possible for families to regain their footing and eventually exit our program once  again self-sufficient and able to choose housing that they can afford.

This is a note of appreciation from one family who are grateful for all the support they are receiving:

“Humility of Mary Housing has been a godsend for my daughter and me. We are so thankful for the program.

There have been times when I couldn’t afford the copay for my medications, and HMHI helped me get them. The group meetings are very informative and have given me the opportunity to meet other program participants, who have become my friends.

They also have fun activities for our kids to do.

I feel like everyone who works for HMHI is like our family. They acknowledge our accomplishments.

I don’t know what I would have done or where my daughter and I would be living today if it were not for Humility of Mary Housing.”  ~Tina

FALL Fresh Start Benefit Sale: September 23-24

Fall 2016 Fresh Start Benefit Sale

The semi-annual sale is upon us: the FALL Fresh Start Benefit Sale. Twice each year we open our warehouse to the public and allow them to access the beautiful merchandise supporters have donated to us. Although our families receive these items at no charge, the public is asked to contribute toward the support of the homeless families that we serve. But the prices help many families who appreciate the serviceable, gently-used and new items.

The Fall Fresh Start Sale is Friday and Saturday, September 23-24. While Friday hours are same as always–8 AM until 4 PM–the Saturday hours have changed to allow us to replenish the warehouse for the second day of the sale. Saturday’s sale hours are 9 AM until 3 PM.

sale itemsThe Fall Sale traditionally features seasonal supplies, including holiday items. It’s a great opportunity to shop for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas items, as you will find specialty items at extreme bargain prices. All the clothing will be seasonally appropriate, with deep discounts on our remaining summer clothing items.

Great prices from past sales continue for this upcoming Fall sale:

All children’s clothing: $.50 cents each
Tops, shirts, shorts, sweaters–$1, Pants, shirts, shoes–$2, Spring coats–$3, Winter coats–$4, Suits, Dresses–$3, Swimwear, P.J.’s–$1, Scarves, belts, ties–$1.

If you have items to contribute to the sale, bring them to our office at 3805 Mississippi Avenue in Davenport between 8 AM and 4 PM Monday through Fridays. We’ll be able to accept sale items until September 16.

We need lots of volunteers to make the sale run smoothly. Call Patti at 563/326-1330 to offer your services. We’ll find a job that you’ll enjoy. Our sale shoppers are delightful, and our families appreciate your support.

For daily updates about the sale (beginning September 6): visit our Sale Facebook Event page.

Help us publicize the sale. Download and post the Sale Flyer where people will see it. (Download one for your refrigerator so you remember to come, too!)

Find the sale on Craigslist of the Quad Cities. Share it with potential shoppers.

Bargain hunters, frugal shoppers, savers and supporters–we’ll see you at the Sale!

Fall Fresh Start Sale


Local artist’s show to contribute revenue to HMHI

Maria Casad show

During the month of August, local artist Maria Casad will contribute all proceeds of her art sales of originals and prints to support the families experiencing homelessness who participate in Humility of Mary Housing, Inc.’s supportive housing program. Her artwork is found at Emma Rae’s Antiques and Uniques in DeWitt where it will be on display throughout the month of August.

The public is invited to a special reception with the artist on August 13 from 1-4 PM at the store at 714 6th Ave in DeWitt, IA.

Maria Casad also volunteers at Humility of Mary Housing. She explains why she volunteers there and why she selected HMHI as recipeint of the proceeds from this special exhibit:

“My heart goes out to the homeless and it is difficult to know how best to help. I feel HMHL is on the right tract with this program.  I hope to volunteer more in the future.”

Casad is a regional muralist who has now turned her attention to painting and pen and ink artwork. Her work is displayed with those of other regional vendors at the unique DeWitt outlet. It’s open Monday-Thursday from 9:30 am-5 pm [summer hours only, Tuesdays open until 8 PM], Saturday from 10 am-5 pm, and Sunday from 11:30 AM-4 PM.

We so appreciate Maria’s generosity to our families! Do support her sale and attend her reception. When you patronize this local artist, your purchase also benefits the Quad Cities Area by helping the most vulnerable.

Click this link to download the sale flier for posting. Help us publicize this sale. Thank you for all your support!


HMHI participant achieves school recognition award

homeless student achievement
HMHI program participant Ariey’Anna proudly displays the achievement award she earned with her hard work throughout first grade.

HMHI program participant Ariey’Anna, six years of age, is making great gains in elementary school. When she completed first grade in May, Ariey’Anna received the Optimus Award. It signifies that she reached the educational goals set at the beginning of the school year.

Actually, Ariey’Anna surpassed her set goals and improved both her reading and spelling skills–vital skills that set the stage for school success. HMHI knows that this requires hard work and dedication throughout the school year. So, we congratulate Ariey’Anna on this accomplishment. We also want to acknowledge her mother, Heather, who continues to provide that all-important, unwavering support and guidance.

It has been proven time and again that excelling in school and stable home environments are linked. Homeless students live in uncomfortable or dangerous conditions, might not have a quiet place to do daily homework or perhaps don’t even have a place to sleep. Ultimately, homeless students transfer schools more often, are more likely to miss school, have lower standardized test scores, and are 87 percent more likely to leave school than their peers.

With the help of our supporters, the program at HMHI can provide that stable environment that allows children to achieve. We are happy to see Ariey’Anna start her elementary school years with a solid first year of accomplishment!

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.

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.