People who are homeless or are in danger of being homeless can receive help for education or apprentice job training from the Jean Kim Foundation for the homeless Education. Supplies, books and tools will be given to students who need them. Students and people who want to be students can receive counseling and mentoring to help them succeed in college. The foundation does not provide scholarships, but will help eligible students and prospective students find scholarships and grants to pay for their education.
The Hygiene Center in Lynnwood is open Monday through Saturday for showers and counseling. Students can spend time there for help and mentoring. People who are homeless can find it difficult to settle into a class and study routine, but case managers and counselors will work hard with the students to help them do well with their studies. A college degree opens the door for better salary, providing a way out of poverty.
Some tiny houses are available for students. Each unit is heated, has a microwave, small refrigerator, sink and toilet. A community building has shared cooking space, food pantry and showers.
People who need mental health services can receive help, including referrals to agencies offering intensive help. Some homeless people need help with mental health services in order to be successful in college or job training. Students who are ready to hold a job will have help in applying for a job.
Reverend Jean Kim strongly believed in the worth of each individual and would work hard to help each student succeed. It is a joy for the Foundation when one of their students graduates from college or gets a job through the apprenticeship program.
Jean Kim was born in North Korea. She escaped to South Korea with family members at age eleven. She experienced homeless there herself for a while. She was able to go to school and the family situation improved. Jean and her husband, two sons and their daughter came to the United States in 1970. Jean and her husband suffered the pain of their oldest son’s death when he was a teen-ager.
In 1987 Jean was ordained as a Presbyterian Minister by the North Puget Sound Presbytery. (Now known as the Northwest Coast Presbytery.) She established the Church of Mary Magdalene as a church and day center for homeless women. Mary’s Place, which offers many services for homeless people, including 7 family shelters, grew from Jean’s ministry at the Church of Mary Magdalene. Jean is the founder or co-founder of 14 mission agencies for homeless people. Her work has touched many lives, lifting people from despair to live a stable and financially improved life, including salvation through Jesus Christ. Jean liked to dress in purple clothes, and called herself, “the pastor in purple.” Purple is the color for lent and advent, seasons of preparing for the joyous hope of Easter and Christmas. Though Jean has now gone to her heavenly home, her ministry continues through faithful workers in the missions she worked tirelessly to start and grow.
“The Jean Kim Foundation for the Homeless Education” receives support from the church mission funds.
“Mary’s Place” receives an annual check from the Women’s Association Mission Offering.
Some of the material in this article was taken from the book, “Hope in the Color Purple” by the Rev. Jean Kim
Mission Elder, Ruth R