Summer Snack Drive

Summer Programs are starting here at Imagine Housing. The sun is out and the kids are ready to have some fun!

Imagine Housing offers summer programming at six of our Eastside communities giving opportunities for youth to engage in a variety of different activities that provide nutrition, education, physical wellness, arts and crafts, and so much more. These programs give the kids in our communities a safe place to go and interact with others their age throughout the summer.

Over the next eight weeks we will be providing the kids participating in programming healthy snacks and lunch. We are working hard to design well balanced meals and snacks that follow our nutrition and wellness plan.

Our Supportive Service’s staff do our best to provide nutritious snacks with a very limited budget, however sometimes we can’t fulfill the amount of snacks needed for the amount of youth served during our summer programs. Currently we are reaching out to anyone interested in helping provide snacks or monetary donations for the youth in our summer programs. If you are interested in donating money for our summer snacks and lunches, please go to www.imaginehousing.thankyou4caring.org and under “Donation Information” choose “Summer Snack Drive”. If you are interested in donating food items, please contact Resident Support Supervisor, Sarah Larson, at sarahl@imaginehousing.org.

Imagine Housing is very thankful for your generosity and kindness supporting our residents and the youth within these local communities.

~ Molly Heine, Resident Support Specialist

Thank you Bellevue Fire Station No. 4

FirehouseKids in Youth Programming at Andrew’s Glen attended their first field trip of 2015 a few weeks ago, taking a trip to Bellevue Fire Station No. 4.

The kids were excited to see what the daily life of a Bellevue Firefighter entails.  The firefighters gave the children a tour of the fire station which included their workout schedule, their living quarters and kitchen.  Additionally, the firefighters showed us the two fire engines and ladder truck which are housed at their fire station.  The kids were able to get a better understanding of what types of emergencies firefighters are called to the scene for – including fires, car accidents, and helping people in the community with daily living.  The firefighters also showed the children the technology on the fire engines.

The most exciting part was when the firefighters demonstrated getting their gear on when they are called out into the community.  They were able to put 75 pounds of gear on in a matter of minutes!

The kids asked many questions and liked the tour they received.  We were proud to be part of our local fire and rescue community for the day.  Special thanks to the firefighters and staff at Bellevue Fire Station No. 4!

~ Amy Vogle, Resident Support Specialist

Cultural competency training

The Cultural Competency Committee of Imagine Housing had a primary goal for this year – set up training on cultural competency for the staff and Board members. The committee decided that a two-part training would be most effective, with the second part to occur six months after the first to give everyone a chance to practice and reflect on how the work is going.  The committee thought this would promote to the staff and Board members an ongoing commitment to this important topic.

Recently, our staff and Board members completed the first part of a training program with Cultures Connecting, led by the very engaging Dr. Caprice Hollins (www.culturesconnecting.com).  We were reminded that cultural competency is an ongoing and aspirational effort.  It starts by each of us recognizing our own biases and stereotypes and understanding how they may affect others.

The next step after awareness is knowledge – what do I need to understand about others? How can I be more appropriate, relevant and sensitive towards others?  It is important to be comfortable with and honor differences, whether they be race, gender, sexual orientation, class, ability, age, religion or other.  Saying, “I don’t see color,” is like saying, “I don’t see you.”  Color blindness is not empowering, but negating.  Instead, we need to not see our differences in a negative way.

Sometimes doing this work can be difficult and may involve risks and feeling uncomfortable.  I realized that I must be aware of the privileges I have had simply because of the color of my skin.  As Dr. Hollins suggests, I must ask myself “is my comfort is more important than another person’s pain?”

Advocating on behalf of others and taking action to create a culture of respect and equity is my responsibility.  When employees come to work, do they feel as if they must leave their opinions, hairstyles, foods, values, sexual orientation and culture behind or do we provide a diverse workplace where everyone can be themselves?

Imagine Housing staff and Board will work together over the next few months to update policies and practices to be more culturally competent and welcoming to those with diverse backgrounds.  We look forward to continuing our part-two training with Cultures Connecting in October.

~ Hester Winn, Office Manager/HR

 

Welcome Beth!

Hello!

My name is Beth and I am the new Resident Support Supervisor.  While I’ll work with many of our properties, my home base will be at Andrew’s Glen.  I come to Imagine Housing with a background in health advocacy with an emphasis on lesbian gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) health care and minority stress as well as experience delivering services in a Housing First, harm reduction based housing project.

People are often curious about how to define or describe the field of health advocacy and how in turn this correlates to my work in housing.  Health is a broad topic that many of us label as the ability to see a doctor, afford health insurance and prescription medicine, and access to mental health and treatment services.  Health advocates like myself view health holistically to encompass access to nutritious food, clean water, quality education, transportation, and safe and stable housing.  Without being able to maintain housing, how can you address all of the other potential health care needs that you and/or your loved ones may need in order to live healthy, engaged, and productive lives?  Without our health, how can we better ourselves and help our families thrive?  These are the questions that drew me to health advocacy and inspire my career in supportive services.

I was drawn to Imagine Housing in large part because of its Philosophy of Care and the four core principles of respect and dignity, community, strength-based and self-determination.  I believe in creating equitable access to tools and services to enable people to improve their lives by their own designs.

I am honored to join the Imagine Housing team and look forward to working with the community.

~ Beth Monkarsh, Resident Support Supervisor

Remembering the fallen

Recently our friends at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church hosted a Memorial Day dinner at Andrew’s Glen in remembrance of the veterans who have passed away in the service of our country.  Church volunteers cooked up a delicious barbeque for our residents, of which many are U.S. veterans, providing hamburgers, potato salad, chips, and ice cream for dessert.

The event was kicked off with a reading by one of the St. Andrew’s congregation members and later on, attendees observed a moment of silence in which anyone could call out the name of a veteran they wanted to remember and honor.  About 50 of our residents joined us for the event and gave our community a great sense of oneness.

I wanted to say thank you to St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church for hosting this event.  We are thankful for our continued partnership to recognize and honor the veterans at Andrew’s Glen.

~ Amy Vogle, Resident Support Specialist