Dear Friends and Neighbors,

One of the things I value most in our work is our partnerships. The issues of housing, homelessness and personal crises we deal with every day are big and complex, and require the collective expertise and resources from many sources. Simply put, we cannot do this work alone. I want to highlight a couple of important partnerships we utilize on a regular basis.

Two local organizations we work closely with are Ballard Food Bank and St. Vincent de Paul; together we coordinate financial assistance plans for individuals and families to ensure we are providing the most efficient and effective help possible. Our shared goal is to prevent homelessness and by combining resources we are leveraging our dollars to keep people securely housed and prevent evictions. When a client comes to us needing more assistance than we are able to provide, we refer them to these other agencies. But then we go a step further. We contact those agencies, share any information we have about the situation, and coordinate services so together we are meeting the client’s needs and maximizing our impact. Additionally we continually discuss our programs and policies with each other to share best practices, make sure we’re relaying accurate information to clients, and offer as seamless a continuum of services as possible. While Ballard Food Bank and St. Vincent de Paul are the two primary agencies we partner with in this capacity, we also coordinate efforts with other city-wide agencies with similar missions; the village of social service providers is well-connected and collaborative.

We’ve also established valuable relationships with the offices of elected officials. Representative Pramila Jayapal’s office has several case managers on staff who have been extremely helpful in advocating for or intervening on behalf of clients caught in bureaucratic tangles. Additionally State Senator Reuven Carlyle’s office has been a great partner helping with issues our clients have encountered at the state level, such as delays in receiving unemployment benefits. Please read the stories below of how these elected officials are working hard on behalf of all of their constituents.

Facilitating these connections for clients is part of the myriad supportive services we offer, which can also include providing contacts for legal assistance, helping identify and access resources to reduce expenses such as childcare, transportation or medical care, assisting with applications for utility discount programs, providing financial literacy training, and helping with employment opportunities.

Of course our most important partnership is with all of you, our supporters. None of what we do would be possible without your financial, in-kind, and volunteer support. Every day we benefit from your help (see our long list of thank-you’s at the end of this newsletter!). As always, we are extremely grateful for all you do.

Warmly, 
Lisa
Lisa Moore, Executive Director
The Value of Partnerships -- Client Stories
Chloe
At the end of 2017 we had several new clients seeking rent assistance due to a very particular challenge: they had all recently been laid off from jobs, had applied and been approved for unemployment – but had not yet starting receiving unemployment checks. When you are already barely able to pay your bills, having zero income for even one week can be extremely challenging – and stressful.
 
Chloe (not her real name) was one such client: she was let go from a well-paying job in November. Within a week or so she had applied for unemployment and received approval. She paid her rent and some other bills with the savings she still had in the bank. After a few weeks with no unemployment payment – in fact, no communication or information at all – she started worrying a little. It was at this time, early December, she made the decision to not use her electric heat because she knew how high the bill would be (and she already was running through her savings). Finally, just a few days before Christmas, she came to our office, explained the situation and asked for help in paying her electric bill so she could turn the heat on (we sent $300 on her behalf towards her Seattle City Light bill). Upon hearing about her struggles with getting unemployment payments, we remembered Sen. Carlyle’s offer to check with his staff regarding state benefits. We shared Chloe’s story with Sen. Carlyle’s staff who responded immediately and began checking into these delays.
 
We recently heard back from Chloe – she finally received her first unemployment check on January 20! As she put it, “I think one of the hardest parts is the waiting, going so long without hearing from anyone. . . the stress was certainly building.” She goes on to say; “Thank you so much for the help when I needed it. My electricity has been on, and with that my heat. Oh! And because of that I was able to send out all of my grad school applications. I hope someday to be able to pay it back to QAHL.”

Jason
Recently Jason (not his real name), a single dad, came to the Queen Anne Helpline requesting assistance. He was discouraged and frustrated because he had been fighting to gain full disability benefits for his son for several months with no response from the Social Security office. Our case manager was able to connect Jason with the helpful staff at Representative Jayapal’s Office who intervened with the Social Security office on his behalf. In a matter of six weeks, with our combined advocacy, Jason received his full benefits AND back pay for benefits owed to him. Our assistance and advocacy will help stabilize Jason’s finances, allowing him to care for his son without the added stress of not being able to pay his bills.
Volunteer Spotlight: Sandra Harui
Sandra grew up on Bainbridge Island and has lived her adult years in Seattle. She says, "It’s hard to beat the great mountains, water, city, and people we have here. My husband and I have raised two awesome children on Queen Anne. Our oldest is studying at the University of Washington and our youngest is a junior in high school. I have been a preschool teacher on Queen Anne for the past seven years. When my children became more independent, I wanted to find something else to do with my time. I’ve always been interested in volunteer work and have dabbled in it in different ways since childhood. The opportunity to manage the clothing bank came up at Queen Anne Helpline and it grabbed my attention. Volunteering at Helpline has been so positive for me. The women who run the show are so committed and gracious. It’s a wonderful model that is so needed in today’s world. Working here is a great way for me to give back to the community that gave my family a great place to grow."
New Student Employees
The Helpline welcomes two new student employees, Nikki and Jess, who attend Seattle Pacific University. They both work weekly with the office team to provide excellent client services, do special administrative projects, and help maintain our clothing and food programs. Nikki comes from Whittier, CA, and is a freshman Nursing student, and Jess is a Sociology major from Simsbury, CT. The Helpline is lucky to have them; please say hello the next time you are in the office!
Board Member Spotlight: Pamela Mattsson
Pamela is a certified executive coach and a thought leader in the leadership development industry. Before moving to Seattle, she spent seven years as the Managing Director of the global consulting firm Axialent leading complex culture change initiatives all over the world. Pamela moved to Queen Anne in 2016 to join Amazon. She leads Amazon’s Executive Development efforts globally. Pamela is a dynamic facilitator and brings special expertise in innovation and inclusion using an experiential and humanistic approach. She firmly believes that the distinction between work and life is a false polarity. Her leadership philosophy is that life is happening all of the time and true leadership is about taking responsibility for what we are creating, reconnecting to our inner core, our humanness, and authentically honoring our values. " I am so excited to be joining the Board of the Queen Anne Helpline, an organization I strongly support for its work in homelessness prevention and assisting our most vulnerable neighbors ."
Volunteer Opportunities
 
Join the Helpline and your neighbors for a food bag packing party on Tuesday, February 27 th at 5pm. Families welcome!
 
Interested in event planning? We have an opportunity for community volunteers to help with the Fun Run (July 14 th, 2018), and are welcoming those interested to a kick off planning meeting on February 28 th at 5pm.
 
Contact Claire (at Claire@queenannehelpline.org) for more information and to sign up for either volunteer opportunity!
Thank You!

A huge round of applause to the following groups or individuals for their enthusiastic commitment to the Helpline!

Incredible clothing donations from:
              Kim Raymoure along with SkyTap
              Kristen McQuerry

Awesome food and supply donations from:
              Julie Schlosser and her children Max and Leo
              Tracey Stevens and Bluebird Bio
              Daniel Robinett and Caffe Umbria Seattle
              Cindy McKenzie and The Paragon
              Sweet Pea Cottage
              Abby Larkin
Kurt Johnson and Ward Johnson Winery

Staff appreciation gifts from:
Mick & Penny Thackeray

Fundraisers on our behalf:
              Altruette and Stuhlbergs

Holiday Gift Card Program: Our community of fantastic supporters collected 30 gift cards for individuals and families in our area, making the holidays a little brighter for so many!
Wish List

Food

We are in need of balanced and nutritious meals for lunch and dinner. Please consider dropping off a meal for your neighbor ( non-perishable items only, please!). Some suggested possibilities are below.

  • pasta noodles + sauce + green beans
  • black beans + enchilada or chili sauce + rice + canned corn
  • ravioli + peas + canned fruit
  • mac & cheese + tuna + tomato soup

Bedding and Linens
 
For those who are moving out of homelessness and into housing, expensive and numerous household items can be a barrier to feeling settled and prepared in their new apartment. You can contribute to someone’s new and exciting start by donating household items such as:

  • bed linens
  • pillows
  • kitchen towels
  • bath towels
  • comforters
  • blankets

Please note we are not able to accept any other types of household items. Thank you!
Our mission: To improve the lives of our neighbors by providing emergency assistance for housing, food 
and basic needs.

Queen Anne Helpline is so grateful for all of our volunteers, donors and supporters - you make our work possible and help improve the lives of our most vulnerable neighbors. 
 
Please consider making a donation to help support local families, seniors, and individuals. You can donate here 
or visit our website:


Queen Anne Helpline
311 West McGraw 
Seattle, WA  98119
206-282-1540
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