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Vine Maple Place in Maple Valley raises $160,000 at its 'Harvest of Hope' fundraiser
Vine Maple Place raised more than $160,000 at its fall “Harvest of Hope” fundraiser breakfast on Nov. 3 to support its critical mission of providing hope and stability for homeless single parents and their children.
“The need for support for homeless single families has never been greater. There are over 8,000 homeless individuals in King County on any given night. Approximately 55 percent of homeless people are families with children and well over 90 percent of those families are headed by single mothers,” said Colleen Starr, Vine Maple Place Executive Director. “The financial contributions from this year’s fall fundraiser will make a huge difference in our efforts to break the cycle of homelessness.”
Vine Maple Place was launched in 2000 ago by 10 local churches that recognized a need to address the growing concern about homeless single moms in South King County. Under the leadership of Ron and Colleen Starr, the mission has flourished. Over the last decade, Vine Maple Place purchased, completely restored, and fully paid for 14 apartment homes and has served more than 282 parents and children, giving them a stable home for 18-24 months and the tools to get an education, find a job, learn critical life skills and break the cycle of homelessness.
One of the highlights for the 200 guests at the annual breakfast was hearing from speakers who are current and past residents of Vine Maple Place. One of them, Sarah, shared her own path to Vine Maple Place.
“Vine Maple Place has had a tremendous impact on my and my son’s life,” said Sarah, a relatively new resident that struggled with addictions and homelessness since she was 15. “Vine Maple Place gave me the support I so desperately needed. Because of this program, I get to tell my son good morning and have a good day and ask him how his day was and kiss him good night every day. I get to sign school permission slips and attend teacher conferences. I get to kiss the ‘owies’ and help with the homework. If I could choose one word to describe this program it would be ‘love.’”
This fall Vine Maple Place launched a new program this fall that aims to catch local families before they fall into homelessness. Under the “Stable Families” program, Vine Maple Place has teamed up with the Maple Valley Food Bank, local churches, and other agencies to provide financial and support services to vulnerable families in Maple Valley, Black Diamond, Covington and the surrounding area.
“We are targeting local low income single parent families who are in imminent danger – in some cases days away – from losing their rental housing. We want to catch those in our midst before they fall off the cliff into the pit of homelessness,” said Starr. “We know that by keeping families in their existing homes, the family returns to stability much more quickly and with a great deal less trauma to the children and at far less cost to our community.”
According to Starr, the cost of helping a family stabilize before they become homeless is approximately one third of the cost of providing support once they no longer have a place to live.
“Imagine how many more families we could support with this new effort,” added Starr. “Combining our traditional model of providing housing to some families and adding this new and innovative initiative to help those teetering on the edge, we can change lives.”
To learn more about the “Stable Families” program and all the service that Vine Maple Place provides see www.vinemapleplace.org or call (425) 432-2119.
Individuals, groups, and businesses are always invited to a Vision of Hope tour to learn more about how Vine Maple Place serves homeless single parents and their children.
The Harvest of Hope breakfast was sponsored by RedWeek.com, Associated Energy Systems, The Resource Group, Olympic Eagle Distributing, Pinnacle Physical Therapy, All Service Plumbing, Caffey’s Painting, Cobalt Mortgage, Flynn Development, Impact Inc., KolKay Electric, Mold Solutions Northwest, Motorplex/PRO-TOW, Sockeye Homes, Tina McDonough—RE/MAX