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11920 Northeast 80th Street
Kirkland, WA, 98033

425-298-4973

We are a Jesus-focused, inclusive community of faith that strives to live as Jesus lived in real, everyday ways. Come Thrive Go. Salt House is a Church on Seattle's Eastside located in Kirkland, Washington. 

Location: 11920 NE 80th Street, Kirkland, WA 98033.

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BlogUpdate

New Bethlehem Day Center - Summer Update #2

Jason Bendickson

Summer greetings to donors, volunteers and other supporters:

Activities at the Day Center, campaign funding, highlighting volunteers, so much to share.... But first and foremost, thank you to all who have stepped up during the summer time of outdoor activities, lots of socializing and vacations to continue your support of New Bethlehem (NB) with volunteer time, meals and donations.  We cannot express enough our gratitude for you! 

New Bethlehem Project 

The campaign to build a permanent shelter is going very well!  In fact, we have raised just over $950,000 of our $1 million goal!  Thank you to those who have donated!  While we are close to our goal, we aren't there yet.  If you, friends or family are interested in donating, please go to www.nbpshelter.org and click "Donate to Campaign."  Every $20 gift helps us get closer to the million dollars.  Our goal is to have 100% of the money raised by the end of this year.

Did you see the recent article in NW Catholic magazine?  See https://www.nwcatholic.org/news/local/eastside-parishes-raise-700000-to-help-build-year-round-family-shelter.html.

  

Day Center

Meeting existing friends, making new acquaintances, sharing experiences of the day and the week, listening compassionately to stories of difficult circumstances and celebrating even little successes of others.  What do these have in common?  They are typical of time spent at the Day Center for both guests and volunteers.  With time, it even becomes as a large family.  It is quite a place!  If you have not volunteered before, write us to learn more.

We continue to experience an increased number of guests at the Day Center during summer and of course with school out until recently, lots of kids arrived with their family.  The nice weather has allowed our guests to relax outside, kids to use the playground equipment or just run in open space, and outdoor grilling for dinner.  An update of critical significance:  Day Center staff have now helped 89 FAMILIES move to more stable housing since the NB opening less than two years ago!  Once again, to all who participate in one way or another to support the operation of NB, thank you, as this success could not happen without you.  Hooray. hooray.........

Salt House Church supports Back to School

Salt House recently completed a "Socks and Underwear Drive" to benefit the families of the Day Center.  The Drive was coordinated by members of the Homelessness Thrive Team at Salt House with participation by other families from the greater Salt House community.  The drive resulted in 305 new pairs of kids socks and 216 pairs of underwear!  WOW, that is really phenomenal!  A huge thank you to Salt House for your concern and kindness.  These items will be handed out to guests soon and will help them immensely with basic needs for their kids going back to school.

Volunteer Highlight - written by Carson Stockwell, a high school student

"Carson, Carson," yelled Issac and Jacob with total excitement to see me at the Day Center on a Sunday.  I matched their delight as I greeted them with a big "hello!"  Issac and Jacob were two of the children I forged a special bond with during my weekly visits to the Day Center fulfilling my junior year service hour requirement for high school.

I chose NB because at various times during mass, an update was given on the homeless crisis on the Eastside with a call to action.  I wanted to help.  I enjoy working with children and I've been blessed with many gifts so I thought I could make a small difference by tutoring on Tuesdays.  "Tutoring" sometimes took the form of "playing tag," but it was engagement with the kids nonetheless.  That's how I met my friends Issac and Jacob.  We looked forward to our weekly visits.

When the time came for me to choose a placement for my Eagle Scout project, I knew I wanted to have an impact at NB again.  In collaboration with the Day Center, I created a trail and seating area on the grounds for visitors to enjoy.  That Saturday, Issac and Jacob wanted to "help."  I assigned them a small task of moving mulch and then quickly directed them to the pizza and cookies provided for the workers.  They were so happy to have contributed in some way.

Being involved in NB has given me more than I have given it.  It has taught me:

  1. Unfortunate circumstances can fall on anyone at any time.  God calls us not to judge but to help one another.

  2. Issac and Jacob's friendship taught me to embrace the little things in life.  They rejoiced every time they saw one another at the Day Center; something as simple as seeing a friend made their day.  Over time, seeing them during the week certainly made my day.

  3. Everyone needs a purpose.  While others may have seen them as a distraction, giving Issac and Jacob a small task on my project made them feel good about themselves because they helped ME.  That was humbling.

 

Volunteer Highlight - Dennis Bogh

Dennis is a busy guy.  He is married with three grown children and works as a consultant for organizations with large industrial motors.  But as his schedule allows, he often arrives at NB at 12:30 PM on Mondays for the cleaning of our spaces--showers, floors, bathrooms, etc.  NB does not open for guests until 2 PM, so it allows the cleaning crew to work unimpeded.  His favorite job, he stated "is cleaning floors as it makes such a big difference."  Indeed, the once weekly "super clean" does result in a huge improvement and guests often comment on how fresh and neat it is.  Dennis says volunteering is his response to being called by the Spirit to serve and that he knows the work at NB is needed and appreciated.  Dennis lives in Woodinville and belongs to Holy Family Parish in Kirkland.  We are very fortunate and grateful to have Dennis on our team!

 

Opportunities to Serve

 

There are many ways to continue to serve or to give it a try for those who have not as yet.  Filling volunteer slots now is especially appreciated as we have a much greater need for volunteers with the increase in guests.  Existing volunteers, please mark Saturday, October 20 on your calendar for the annual Volunteer Appreciation gathering; more information will follow.

We would like to highlight the significant need for help with the once weekly cleaning of the Day Center on Mondays from 12:30-1:30 PM.  You can individually sign up or perhaps you know a group who would enjoy working together and providing this important service for NB.  Ideally 4 volunteers are needed each week.  Of course you can sign up once to try it and if it suits you, fit it into your schedule, maybe once monthly or whatever works for you.  The primary duties for the 4 person crew include vacuuming the living and dining areas, mopping floors, running a couple of loads of laundry (primarily bath towels,) cleaning showers, restocking toiletries and helping to organize and clean the supplies and storage areas.  

Volunteering  See www.nbpshelter.org/volunteer and attend one of our next orientations on Sunday, September 30 or October 28, 12:30 PM at NB.  Please reply to this email to register for orientation.

Provide the evening meal or snacks  See www.nbpshelter.org/provide-a-meal.

Provide supplies  See www.nbpshelter.org/provide-supplies.

Donate financially  See www.nbpshelter.org/donate/.

Life happens.  Every day, really every hour, we have many things that we need to do and that we want to do.  We continue to be humbled by YOU, a group of individuals who do not forget about those in need and take time to do something about it.  PLEASE KNOW YOU MAKE A HUGE CONTRIBUTION TO THEIR LIFE and we (and they) are extremely grateful.

Blessings to you,
NBDC Volunteer Committee

New Bethlehem Summer Update

Jason Bendickson

Summer greetings New Bethlehem supporters!  News for June to mid July follows.

We have been busy serving guests who need a meal, a shower, to wash clothes or just a break from the midday heat.  Families now often arrive together with school vacation and the afternoon snacks as well as evening meals continue to be greatly appreciated.  In the last 3 months, New Bethlehem (NB) has served 195 different guests!  Further, 11 families moved to more stable housing during this time, bringing to 82 the total number since opening (and 45 of these moved into permanent homes.)  HOORAY!  This is so exciting and we are humbled to be helpful in the process.  Thank you to all supporters who have facilitated this to happen!

 

A Tribute to Laura -- Volunteer Extraordinaire

Every startup organization needs people who are outgoing, effective and love what they do.  New Bethlehem was blessed to have just that person in Laura Sabine, our first Volunteer Coordinator.

Laura was on the original team in 2015 at Holy Family Parish in Kirkland that planned a day center for families experiencing homelessness on the Eastside and soon thereafter agreed to her unpaid role as Volunteer Coordinator for NB.  She needed to determine and provide everything necessary to have an efficient volunteer base.  She talked with other shelters and started to identify the pieces that would be necessary for this endeavor.  She spent considerable time developing necessary procedures, including orientation, job responsibilities, time slots, and necessary communications (including SignUp.com for volunteers to locate available slots.)

Laura did not have to find volunteers as churches and other faith communities got out the word of NB opening in November 2016.  But Laura needed to be ready for the hundreds of inquiries that resulted in volunteers going to orientation and many following through with volunteering.  Laura thought it was important to provide different kinds of volunteer opportunities (and thus we have kitchen, family room, cleaning, meals, snacks, crafts,) an environment where volunteers could work closely with other volunteers to enjoy the service being provided while also building relationships among the volunteers, and to have definitive procedures for volunteers to do without overstaffing to avoid the feeling of "I am not needed here."

With this myriad of responsibilities, Laura's first love was talking to volunteers--prospective or current.  She loved hearing their stories, their concerns, and then trying to help.  Her passion was to develop a volunteer community that loved NB as much as NB would love them.  Many of us had the privilege of her advice, always given in a friendly manner and always focused on each of us.

Laura's husband, Chris, accepted a new position in 2018 and the couple has now moved to Hawaii.  They have a 24 year old daughter living in the Midwest and an 18 year old son who stayed in Kirkland to go to college and pursue a music career.  We are grateful to Mary Ann Joy, who has now taken over the role of Volunteer Coordinator.

We feel privileged to have had Laura at NB and of course wish her the very best.  

 

Outdoor Grill Donation

An outdoor grill was recently donated to NB and a heartwarming story is behind it.  Kirkland Interfaith Network (KIN) is a local outreach organization working to help those in need locally and globally.  One of KIN's board members recently lost her husband, who loved outdoor grilling so much he was known as the "grill sergeant."  When KIN found out NB was in need of a grill for Father's Day, funds were donated both by KIN and the family in the husband's memory to fill our need.  We are very honored by this contribution.  The grill was used on Father's Day, July 4th and other summer meals; our guests love it!  KIN has also graciously provided swim passes and Summerfest tickets for guests of NB.  Thank you so much to KIN and the family!

 

Opportunities to Serve

NB has many ways you can plug in to serve.  Due largely to summer vacations by volunteers, we are especially in need of evening meals and weekly snacksAre you able to help?  See below for more information.

Volunteering at the Day Center      Have you not volunteered for some time or perhaps not at all?  It is easy, non-threatening and fun.  Get a friend and serve together!  If new to volunteering, learn more at www.nbpshelter.org/volunteer and attend our next orientation at NB on Sunday, July 29 at 12:30 PM.  Please reply to this email to register for the orientation.

Provide an evening meal or weekly snacks     Get your family together or a group of friends and prepare a meal--an enjoyable time and very helpful!  You can drop it off or serve yourself.  If you don't have quite as much time, perhaps providing snacks fits you--again, the family can shop together as a way to reach out to others.  To learn more or sign up, see www.nbpshelter.org/provide-a-meal.

Provide supplies     You can also make a significant contribution by providing cleaning or laundry supplies.  For more information and to see our Amazon Wish List, see www.nbpshelter.org/provide-supplies.

Donate financially     Limited time, but want to donate financially?  See www.nbpshelter.org/donate.

Again,  an immense thank you to all of you who support NB, either regularly or occasionally; you are amazing and we are so thankful for each of you!

We wish you blessings for a great summer,

NBDC Volunteer Committee

New Bethlehem Day Center - May Update

Jason Bendickson

 

A warm hello to donors, volunteers and other supporters,

Thank you for partnering with us to make a difference for homeless families with children.  We have now entered the third year since King County declared a state of emergency for the homeless.  The annual count by the County of those homeless in January again showed an increase over the prior year and a significant 22% of the total were families with children.  On a positive note, the head count of families with children decreased from the prior year.  We expect New Bethlehem, through your efforts, was part of the reason for this decrease by assisting our guests to locate housing.  Also, we are well positioned to continue to help with our 24/7 permanent shelter in the near future.

Day Center

May continued a trend some may not realize:  there is significant coming and going at NBDC.  That is, guests we know well, perhaps for several weeks, move on as they locate better circumstances with shelter and jobs--often with our staff's assistance.  New guests find us and start the process anew.  This is very different from many homeless day shelters who have a majority of their head count being the same people for months.  This success is a credit to the vision of NBDC organizers as well as the work of current staff, volunteers and donors.  From your volunteer committee as well as our guests--thank you, you are making a huge difference!

The Day Center is a busy place.  We are now averaging 200-250 loads of laundry and 300-400 showers per month.  Additionally we provide a full meal every evening and an informal meal/snack every afternoon, seven days a week.  Since the Day Center opened in November, 2016, 563 individuals (313 children) have been served and 76 families have secured more stable housing. This is really exciting and such an honor to help each person.

Mother's Day was very special at the Day Center.  Ten of our mothers were pampered with hair styling, nails, gift bags, yummy treats and family portraits.  The portraits were beautiful and many of our families were thrilled to have and send them to grandparents and friends.  It was a very successful day and everyone seemed to enjoy it--including our moms, their families, and the many volunteers that stepped up to make it happen.  Again, many thanks!

Program Manager Position Filled

CCS (Catholic Community Services) recently announced the hiring of Amber North as the new Program Manager for New Bethlehem Day Center.  Amber brings over 10 years of relevant education and experience to this position.  She has served in formational leadership roles, both in program design and development as well as management, for several different non-profit organizations in the Northwest, Midwest and East Coast of the US.  Amber has a graduate background in philosophy and theology, and prior to coming to New Bethlehem, she spent several years in interfaith ministry as a lay chaplain and spiritual director for persons walking through vulnerable transitions in South Boston.

As Case Manager of NBDC, she has enjoyed bringing this perspective to the creation of our space and helped families move from homelessness to more secure housing.  Amber believes deeply in the mission of New Bethlehem and is continually humbled by the community it has led to:  from the resilient and inspiring families that come through the doors every day, to the genuine and important service hearts of our volunteers, donors, and neighborhood.

CCS was very happy to secure Amber for this position and those of us who have worked with her share that same feeling.

Opening of Case Manager Position

With Amber North moving to Program Manager, the Case Manager position is now open at NBDC.  CCS is actively looking for appropriate applicants.  If you are interested in this position or know someone who could be, more information can be found at:  https://careers-ccsww.icims.com/jobs/3079/family-case-manager/job.

New Bethlehem Project:

The Eastside CARES campaign to build the permanent, year-round shelter is going well with $890,000 raised of the $1 million goal!  This campaign is truly a community wide project and we've had gifts big and small from young and old. Here's a note from our most recent 8 year old donor!

Do you know of a community group or individual who would like to learn more about NBP?  Please email or call Rebecca at rebeccani@ccsww.org or 734-709-7490.

Opportunities to Contribute

Many ways exist for you to make a valuable contribution:

Make a financial donation  Always needed!  See www.nbpshelter.org/donate.

Volunteer at the Day Center  Many 2-2.5 hour slots are available, from 1:30-8:30 PM, 7 days weekly.  You can help in the dining room, family room, drive the NBDC van, work on the cleaning crew, or share a craft with guests just to name a few.  If new, learn more at www.nbpshelter.org/volunteer and attend our next orientation at the Day Center on Sunday, June 24 at 12:30 PM.  Please reply to this email to register for the orientation.

Provide a meal or snacks  Our guests so appreciate the quality of food that is served; a huge thank you to providers!  If you would like to learn more or sign up, see www.nbpshelter.org/provide-a-meal.

Provide supplies  Laundry and cleaning supplies are needed weekly to maintain operations.  If you can help with this or would like to see our Amazon Wish List, go to www.nbpshelter.org/provide-supplies.

We cannot thank enough those who have assisted us, many regularly, in the foregoing ways in our 1 1/2 years of operations.  A HEART FELT THANK YOU TO EACH OF YOU -- New Bethlehem would not exist without you.

Blessings,  NBDC Volunteer Committee

Salt House Proposed Budget FY19

Jason Bendickson

The video of our budget presentation at Salt House on May 20, 2018 is below. Presenters include Greg Fenich, Kim Saunders, and Pastor Sara Wolbrecht.

Here are the slides from the presentation from May 20, 2018

New Bethlehem Day Center - April Update

Jason Bendickson

Greetings New Bethlehem supporters. 
Your April Update follows.

Day Center

April was again a busy month.  Guest count averaged 22 with Sundays usually the most activity.  Because we serve families, it is normal to have children all ages daily; so there is always bustle with laughing, playing and spending time with friends.  In the midst of this, some are doing homework.  It is a wonderful sight to see!

We are sad to report Natalia Pierson's last day was April 30.  As Program Manager, she played a key part of daily operations.  Natalia accepted a position in foster care in Everett with Catholic Community Services.  She will be immensely missed, but we all wish her the best in her new endeavor.

 

Profile of a  volunteer group from St. Louise Parish (written by a member)

"Donating and serving a meal to feed the families at the Day Shelter can be easier than one might think, and brings its own rewards to the volunteers who prepare and provide the food.  After working on a retreat together, our team of women wanted to continue our friendship and fellowship through serving others in our community.  We decided to provide a meal to the Day Shelter one Friday a month.

We found a system that works for our busy lives.  We meet once a month and quickly plan the meal:  main dish, sides, fruit, beverage, and dessert--an organized pot luck.  Each woman signs up for what she can provide that month.  We rotate and share responsibilities when others are out of town or extra busy with work or family.  We meet at the shelter on 'our' Friday afternoon around 5 PM after preparing the food in our homes.  Serving the meal, eating and talking with guest families, and being together as a team brings us closer to each other and our community, and much joy."

Obviously this group is immensely appreciated.  Perhaps this gives you an idea to do something similar; see last section to find out more.

 

New Bethlehem Project

Funding Campaign

The Eastside CARES campaign to build a permanent shelter is going well and we have raised just over $750,000 of the $1 million goal.  Your generosity is making all the difference and we can't thank you enough for your ongoing support of the NBP and the campaign.  If you haven't had a chance to donate and would like to, here is a neat opportunity:

New Bethlehem Project is excited to participate in this year's GiveBIG one-day online giving event.  The Seattle Foundation's GiveBIG campaign is a one-day online giving event that NBP/Catholic Community Services will be participating in again this year.  This will be the 9th and final year.  The Seattle Foundation is hosting this event.  Please share with your friends and family about this exciting day of giving.

To donate to the campaign through GiveBIG go to:   https://www.givebigseattle.org/ccsww.  To designate your donation to the permanent shelter campaign, note "Eastside CARES" in the comments box on the online form.

The Seattle Foundation is offering the opportunity for donors to "schedule" their GiveBIG gifts ahead of May 9th.  Starting April 26th donors can access the GiveBIG donation forms and schedule a gift to be processed on May 9th.  One last note about this event:  in past years the Seattle Foundation has offered a small matching program for donations made on the day of GiveBIG.  There is no match this year but it is still an excellent way to rally around philanthropic giving in the Puget Sound area!  However, if your employer offers matching gifts, your donation through GiveBIG CAN be matched through your employer.  Questions?  Contact Rebecca Nightingale at rebeccani@ccsww.org or 734-709-7490.

New Shelter

Take a look at the proposed floor plan for the first floor of the new shelter!  We can't wait to see it all come together!  Click on the attachment at the end of this Update.

Salt House Church

Salt House Church, which houses the Day Center, is hosting their semi-annual Neighborhood Forum on Monday, May 21 at 7 PM and they look forward to having you join in for an update to the neighbors about the Day Center, permanent shelter progress, and Eastside CARES campaign.  On a separate note, Salt House also signed the parcel sale transaction for the permanent shelter.  This is a major milestone!

Opportunities

Particularly with Natalia leaving (as well as Renard, a part time staff,) remaining staff will be stretched thin for a while.  Volunteer help, especially on nights and weekends, as well as providing meals will be especially important.  Can you help during this transition period?

Volunteer in daily operations  There are many options 7 days weekly to fit in your schedule.  Learn more at www.nbpshelter.org/volunteer.  If interested, attend the next orientation at the Day Center on Sunday, May 27 at 12:30.  Please reply to this email to register for orientation.

Provide meals, snacks or supplies  All three of these items are needed every week at the Day Center.  More information and sign ups are at www.nbpshelter.org/provide-a-meal.

Drive the NBDC Van  Thank you to those who have volunteered to help out with this, but it does remain a need for the Day Center.  It involves driving once or twice a night to take guests from the Day Center to the Overnight Shelter in Bellevue.  It takes less than an hour round trip and it is greatly appreciated by guests.  Drivers need to become approved volunteers (orientation, background check, application) and submit copies of insurance, driver license and driver abstract.  Once qualified, drivers can sign up for as many or as few trips as desired.  If interested in learning more, simply reply to this mailing.

A huge thank you to all who assisted in so many ways in April.  If you are interested, but have not participated as yet, we are always excited to meet and help new supporters.  

Blessings,   NBDC Volunteer Committee