Community

Reach Out fundraiser supports homeless shelter for women

Pictured left to right: Megan Johnson, philanthropist; Mayor Skip Priest; Bob Wroblewski, community volunteer; Laurie Fiorito, Nancy Jaenicke and Willa Gaines of Reach Out; King County Councilman Pete von Reichbauer; and Veteran Community Network manager Sheila Sebron.  - Andy Hobbs/The Mirror
Pictured left to right: Megan Johnson, philanthropist; Mayor Skip Priest; Bob Wroblewski, community volunteer; Laurie Fiorito, Nancy Jaenicke and Willa Gaines of Reach Out; King County Councilman Pete von Reichbauer; and Veteran Community Network manager Sheila Sebron.
— image credit: Andy Hobbs/The Mirror

From staff reports:

Reach Out Federal Way, a homeless advocacy organization, hosted a breakfast fundraiser Oct. 13 at Steel Lake Presbyterian Church to help open a winter shelter for homeless women in South King County.

More than 250 tickets were sold for the fundraiser. Currently, there is only one emergency shelter in all of South King County for homeless women. That shelter in Burien houses nine women at a time for up to 90 days, and turns away 40-50 women each month.

Regarding homeless women, Catholic Community Services (CCS) reports:

• 83 percent of the women they serve were victims of domestic violence

• 75 percent were victims of violent crimes (kidnap, rape)

• Most of the ladies they serve have chronic feet issues. Outside of a shelter or transitional housing program, homeless women tend to walk at night because they feel they need to keep moving just to be safe

• The life expectancy of a homeless individual is 48.

At the Oct. 13 fundraiser, Sheila Sebron shared an emotional story of her experience as a homeless single mother. Her troubles began with a brain injury while serving in the U.S. Air Force. Sebron went on to start the Veteran Community Network to help men and women in similar situations reintegrate into civilian life and become productive citizens. Click here to read more about her story.

For the past three winters, Reach Out has provided overnight shelter and meals for up to 25 men a night during the coldest winter months. Churches provide hot dinners each evening, a breakfast for morning, and a sack lunch for the men when they leave the shelter each day.

To learn more about Reach Out, contact nancyjaenicke@earthlink.net or visit www.reachoutfederalway.org.

 

 

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