Hope During Homelessness

It’s known that homelessness is a key issue in King County. The 2019 Count Us In report registered over 11,000 individuals without permanent housing. Of those counted, only 53% had some sort of indoor shelter (transitional housing, emergency shelter, etc.). While many people who experience homelessness have jobs, the challenges of looking for work are exacerbated when a person doesn’t have stable shelter. It can become a catch 22 situation. 

Thankfully, there are many organizations in the Puget Sound who work together to help residents in need find stability through employment and housing. King County employee, Ithica Nolan-Williams, shared why the work of Jubilee Woman’s Center was so critical in her story.

A smiling woman with a black shirt and braided hair.
Ithica Nolan-Williams, Administrative Specialist II, Natural Parks & Resources

Ithica and her daughter lived in various shelters during her daughter’s high school years. As transplants from Texas, they didn’t have family in the Puget Sound. Once her daughter went to college, she found herself alone for the first time. While staying in temporary shelters, she knew she needed to find transitional housing or an affordable housing program. Through her research, she found Jubilee Women’s Center.  She waited over six months for a space in the program but was able to move in 2012.    

Moving to Jubilee and settling into her own room with space to store her personal items was such a good feeling! The tiny space felt perfect: she could use the shared kitchen and common spaces in the house but enjoy her own privacy. The women in the home were from various backgrounds, social economic statuses, and life stages.

Jubilee creates a space where the women can recreate themselves.  Everyone contributes to the household economy and has opportunities to network.  Support, case management, and consistent patience are offered to all the residents in their four homes. Ithica encourages other Jubilee residents to visualize what they want to see in their life and take their time to lean into the resources available.

Ithaca was encouraged by the other women to pursue her goals and build a strong foundation of support. She could progress at the speed that worked for her.  With the help of Jubilee, she realized the valuable skills she possessed.  She drew from her newly increased self-confidence when searching not just for a job, but for a career.  Jubilee helped her set goals and find work and housing where she could thrive.

Jubilee partners with other EGP organizations (like Valley Cities #5724 and Seattle Goodwill #9378) to provide care to the whole person. Ithaca continued to live at Jubilee initially after reentering the workforce to ensure her mental health and stress levels were manageable. She realized that addressing her basic needs first was critical to building a strong foundation.

Green butterflies in a circular shape.  Logo of Jubilee Women's Center

Now, Ithica’s relationship with Jubilee has come full circle. As a King County employee, she uses the Employee Giving Program to donate to Jubilee Women’s Center (#9647).  She has stable housing, a strong career path and can give back to an organization that helped her and so many others!

Learn more about the power of giving to Jubilee Women’s Center with financial gifts, clothing, or new household items. Volunteer opportunities for individuals or groups include meal preparation, class instruction and center support.  

EGP has nearly 100 organizations in the program focused Housing & Employment services. Find Jubilee and explore more great causes Employee Giving (kingcounty.gov)

The Annual Giving Drive runs through November 19, 2021. It’s easy to set up payroll donations, give via credit card, donate your time, or commit to volunteering. We encourage you to share your story hope through giving in the comments below.