On March 11, 2015, two ladies from Mary’s Place came to Edmonds Presbyterian church as part of the Women’s Association meeting and luncheon. Mary’s Place is an organization trying to empower women and their children. They have a day center for women and their children that’s open from 7:00AM – 5:00PM, and four night shelters (one of which is rotating) to serve King County. Mary’s Place provides services such as: Two hot meals per day, AA/NA Meetings, Bastyr Naturopathic Clinic, Bon Mary’s Incentive Program, Clothing Distribution, Community Service Site, Housing and Employment Resources, Hygiene, Shower and Laundry Service, Lingerie Program, Mail and Phone Services, Medical Care, Resource Referrals, Shelter Referrals, and Support Groups. The Support Groups include: Domestic Violence, Seeking Safety, Treatment Options and Referrals. Other services they provide are: Volunteer Services, YWCA Health Access Program, Homeless Women’s Choir, Jail and Hospital Visitation, Women in Black, and Saturday Church Service (the Church of Mary Magdalene).
The speaker on March 11, 2015, was a woman named Marty H., and her quest, Bobby Jean. Marty H. is the Executive Director for Mary’s Place and has been there for 16 years. Mary’s Place’s mission statement is: “Empowering homeless women, children and families to reclaim their lives by providing shelter, nourishment, resources, healing and hope in a safe community.” Marty talked about many of the services they offer women and children at their Day Center. Women who attend the Day Center have their basic needs met, receive toiletries, resources, medical attention, and people to talk to. Marty had mentioned that a great deal of women there are going through some sort of trauma or grief and Mary’s Place provides a safe space to talk about the issues these women are dealing with. Mary’s Place believes that to battle homelessness, one has to deal with the root cause of it. One also has to build community and form connections with one another. They also believe faith is an important part of eradicating homelessness. Marty talked about modeling after Jesus and his 12 disciples to demonstrate the building of community.
After Marty completed her speech, she introduced a woman named Bobby Jean, an older African American woman who was very skinny and moved slowly. Bobby Jean started her speech by saying “They kept my sanity.” She told the Women’s Association how she moved in with her daughter and her daughter’s family. Not long after she moved in, she had to move out because of conflict within the family. Mary’s Place and Operation Nightwatch took her in, and now she has her own room and two meals per day. She was very proud to say that and proud to show us her keys.
She also showed us her teeth. She told us before June of 2014, she didn’t have any. She recalled how she could hardly eat because of her missing teeth which caused her to lose a lot of weight. Mary’s Place provided her with dental services and she now has a wonderful smile she loves. She was so grateful to Mary’s Place which was obvious by her tears of joy.
In King County, there is a place to go for women and children who otherwise have nowhere else to go. There are many different reasons why people are homeless. Many of the homeless are women and children. Mary’s Place is devoted to helping these women “keep their sanity” and their dignity. They provide training and resources to help women and their children escape from homelessness and into homes of their own. All of their services are free of charge and are easily accessible. They welcome volunteers of all kinds and donations of almost anything. This organization offers services 365 days of the year to help end homelessness. If you want to volunteer, contact Erin at (206) 621-8474 ext. 113 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about donations contact Mary’s Place at email@example.com or (206) 621-8474.