11 Sep Org focus friday: Vision House
As a Christian social service agency in Renton and Shoreline, Washington, Vision House helps break the cycle of homelessness for families with children. They have been serving folks struggling with housing stability in our region for over 30 years. At Vision House, race doesn’t matter; neither does religion, national origin, gender, or sexual preference. They believe that every person deserves a healthy home and that housing is a basic human right. As a faith-based organization, their mission is to follow Jesus in working with families experiencing poverty or homelessness to promote positive transformation. Their vision is centered on community, to inspire connection and to unite so that all people have access to a healthy home.
All of the families that Vision House serves are either single-parent or two-parent families with kids. Homelessness is complex, and families come from a variety of backgrounds. Many families are mothers and kids leaving domestic violence situations; other families are living through substance use and looking for support as they reset their life trajectories; other families have found themselves unemployed and unable to afford the expensive housing market.
The amazing staff and programs at Vision House provide two kinds of services:
- For struggling families on the edge of becoming homelessness they offer diversion services. These services connect families to resources to help them avoid homelessness, whether by referring families to affordable housing, meeting with families and helping them identify their personal support systems (family, friends, other connections), or providing families with physical resources to help them get through whatever difficulties they’re facing. Vision House walks alongside these families as they look to stabilize their housing situations.
- Vision House also works with families currently experiencing homelessness by welcoming families into their transitional housing apartments. These are not homeless shelters, but individual housing units where each family has their own home. Families typically stay in these apartments on an average of 18-24 months as they recover from homelessness and work to move into permanent housing. Their approach focuses on providing “wrap around care,” which means they look to support families fully on their journeys into permanent housing, including case management and guidance. They also incorporate classes and training that lead to transformation. Whether it’s vocational, life skills, parenting, or health and wellness, these classes are designed to help families develop the skills they need to reach their goals and move into permanent housing.
Vision House has been very successful over the years in supporting families with children to exit homelessness and achieve housing stability. Over 88% of all the families that access their programs eventually move into permanent housing!
Vision House believes in the power of community and welcomes anyone who is looking to get involved to support their mission. There are several opportunities to volunteer or donate to support the families that they serve:
Give: The kind of transformation described above is made possible through the generosity of donors. Since the coronavirus, the need has only grown, and more and more families are looking for help. If you would like to support families experiencing homelessness, we invite you to make a donation, and perhaps even consider making a commitment to help families by giving on a monthly basis. Donations can be made at the following link: https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=vision&id=1
Volunteer: Vision House also relies heavily on volunteer involvement. Volunteer opportunities include helping provide breakfast for families, gardening to help keep Vision House grounds a welcoming, peaceful place for residents, gathering crafts for Vision House kids to put together, as well as several other service opportunities. Those interested in volunteering can reach out to Debbie Gannon at firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also find more information on our website: https://visionhouse.org/get-involved/volunteer/
Attend an Upcoming Event: Vision House will be having their Virtual No Homeless Kids Benefit Event from 5-6 p.m. on October 17th. Join them virtually to hear former Seahawks player Doug Baldwin speak about homelessness in the Seattle area, and learn how you can help break the cycle of homelessness for a family today. The link to register is here: https://visionhouse.org/no-homeless-kids-benefit/
To learn more about some of the amazing folks who have been through Vision House’s program, see their blog links below!