Nonprofit Hopes to Put Homeless Individuals in Hotels During Coldest Winter Weeks

Proposed Program Seeks to Match Participants With Income, Housing Over Six-Week Hotel Stay

By Daniel Warn / dan@yelmonline.com
Posted 12/7/21

Local nonprofit Love Abounds Here has applied for a $50,000 grant from the state of Washington to help homeless individuals in the area get on their feet after a planned six-week stay in a hotel …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Nonprofit Hopes to Put Homeless Individuals in Hotels During Coldest Winter Weeks

Proposed Program Seeks to Match Participants With Income, Housing Over Six-Week Hotel Stay

Posted

Local nonprofit Love Abounds Here has applied for a $50,000 grant from the state of Washington to help homeless individuals in the area get on their feet after a planned six-week stay in a hotel during the coldest weeks of winter

The grant has been approved at the county level, and is considered preliminary  at the state level, hinging on the successful creation of a program to use the funds, said Love Abounds Here founder and secretary Suzan “Suzie Q” LeFurgey.

LeFurgey told the Nisqually Valley News that while the grant is still making its way through the government’s processes, the program that is being created hopes to see the rapid rehousing of the most vulnerable citizens of the area.

The program will put individuals into hotels during six of the coldest winter weeks, with the goal of helping them find housing during their six-week stay.

For the program to work, LeFurgey said Love Abounds Here will need to pay for the initial hotel stays out of pocket and will then be reimbursed by the grant for the costs. The nonprofit is currently seeking donations for the start-up costs on its Facebook page, “Love Abounds Here.”

“Putting people into hotels is expensive, but it is the only option that was made available through this grant and Love Abounds Here has past winter experience with temporary housing when our people suffer terribly in the coldest weather,”  LeFurgey posted on Facebook.

Yelm, with a population of over 10,600, does not have any shelters available for homeless people in the area who live outdoors, in tents, in vehicles and in RVs with no water or electricity.

The nonprofit has identified upwards of 70 people who live in those conditions currently in the Yelm area, LeFurgey said.

The program won’t be a simple affair, she said, and doesn’t just provide hotel stays. One plan would assign each individual in the program a volunteer sponsor or mentor who will walk the people through the process of identifying immediate needs, like obtaining a picture ID, food stamps, lifeline telephones, and money for housing and essential needs. The program would also guide people within the system to get the essential goals accomplished quickly, LeFurgey said.

“Time will also be spent on setting up appointments to go to both the doctor and meet with a mental health professional,” LeFurgey said. “This will help identify any mental or physical health issues that need to be addressed as a barrier to self-care.”

The sponsors would help the individuals obtain Social Security benefits if they are not able to work.

“We have found that many, if given the opportunity, want to work and will begin to thrive if given a hand at making this happen,” LeFurgey said in the post. “We have recently reached out to Compass Career Solutions, an innovative staffing agency geared toward employment for homeless people in Olympia, who have agreed to help step each participant through the process of finding and keeping work.  We are fortunate to have a positive employment climate right now with many jobs available in our area.”

Once an income is established, the process will then turn to finding housing for the individuals in the program. That could be in the form of Section 8 housing vouchers, affordable housing, or renting out rooms within established residences. LeFurgey noted that nine out of 10 people that the nonprofit works with want to stay in Yelm, but there are also options in Olympia for housing through other nonprofits.

“By implementing this program of intensive casework, we believe we can work quickly with funds to house the homeless in long term shelters or permanent apartments during their stay in our program,” LeFurgey said. “We are very hopeful that we can make a life-changing difference for our vulnerable adult homeless neighbors.”

“Love Abounds Here works to develop and protect the health and wellbeing of our houseless neighbors in Yelm and the surrounding area,” LeFurgey said in a statement. “We treat our homeless neighbors with love and respect, empowering them to improve their lives. In addition to doing what we can to keep them warm, fed and physically and mentally healthy, we work toward moving them toward housing.”

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here