Sharing Lives: 2020 Summer Issue

Thank You! Your Generosity is Making a Difference!

The past few months have been filled with challenges, anxiety and uncertainty for everyone. For the clients and families we serve, barriers to housing and access to nutritious meals have been worsened by the struggling economy, with thousands of our local neighbors unemployed. As an organization, we continue to press forward, adapting to the new normal—and your support is making the difference. You quickly answered our call for help as the state of Washington navigated the stay-at-home order, when community organizers launched #GivingTuesdayNow and in support of our Appeal for Meals campaign. Here’s how your donations have had a positive impact:

8,625 to-go meals
The need for to-go meals at Share House increased by 133%—from 3,700 meals in February to 8,625 meals in May. To ensure the health of our staff, volunteers and clients, as well as the safety of our food distribution, our program quickly transitioned to healthy to-go meals on March 14. We expect to see the need for meals to continue to increase as local individual and family budgets are impacted by unemployment.

25 households moved into housing in May
Staff from our Family Pathways, Collaborative Housing, Affordable Housing & Stability, and Housing Achievement & Enrichment programs were successful in moving 25 households into housing in May. Two included:

  • Jane*: disabled and living on a fixed income, she had been in shelter for five months; she successfully received a Housing Choice Voucher from Vancouver Housing Authority and was able to secure her own apartment.
  • The Johnson* family: in shelter for three months, single mother, Anna*, was living with her brother, who had moved in to help with childcare, so that she could continue to work full time. A cook at an assisted living facility, she saw her hours cut by the covid-19 crisis. Share staff helped her apply for unemployment to supplement her lost pay, and the family moved into their own home at the end of May.
    * Names changed for anonymity

WHO extended to June 30
We are incredibly grateful to Pastor Cindy Muse and her leadership team at St. Andrew Lutheran Church who more than once agreed to extend the Winter Hospitality Overflow program at the church to serve 30 vulnerable individuals (including children) during the extended stay-at-home order. Share continued to cover costs for staffing and supplies, plus most food items. Plus, 15 single men also continue to have access to sleeping mats on the dining room floor at Share House during the evenings.

42,107 bags of food to children & families*
Despite school doors being closed, our Backpack Program continued to operate. Through our partnerships with Evergreen and Vancouver Public Schools, as well as the Battle Ground School District, a small crew of staff and volunteers packed 900+ food bags each week which were available at grab & go school locations on Thursdays. A total of 11,584 bags were packed from mid-March to June 4. * During the 2019-2020 school year

36+ tons picked up by Talkin’ Trash
Our Talkin’ Trash crew continues on its weekly route, picking up more than 36 tons of refuse through the end of May. When the crews encounter a camp, they work with the individual(s) to collect trash/litter from the site—they do not remove camps or personal belongings. The crew works closely with Share’s Street Outreach team to ensure that those in need of resources and services have access to them.

WHAT operates 24-hours for 13 women
At the end of March, the Women’s Housing and Transition (WHAT) shelter quickly adapted from an overnight shelter to a 24-hour shelter. Share hired additional staff members to meet that need, as with coffee shops, restaurants and even the library closed, there was nowhere for these women to go during the day. We are grateful to St Lukes ~ San Lucas Episcopal Church for their facility which houses this vital shelter for 13 women during the covid-19 crisis, as well as the City of Vancouver and Clark County for funding.


Additional articles in the 2020 Summer edition include: Grocery Outlet ‘Independence from Hunger Food Drive’ to Benefit Share; Volunteers: the heart of our organization; Needed Items for the Summer Months; Share Stands Up for Equity & Against Racism; Share’s Free Summer Meals Program; If I Can Rollover, So Can You (IRA Article); Share’s Virtual Soup Week Oct. 5 to 11 (replacing Soup’s On!); Share Orchards Inn Remodel Complete

Download a PDF version of the 2020 Summer Edition of ‘Sharing Lives’ to read all the stories from this quarter.