Submitted byBarbara Wakefield for Homes First
Depending on how you do your research, you will find dozens—if not hundreds—of nonprofits in the South Sound region, all doing a wide range of things to try and help make this a better place to live. None, however, does what Homes First does.
Perhaps you’ve never heard of Homes First? Well, that should change if you believe that having a place to call home can be a foundation of building a solid, responsible life. In simple terms, having “homes first” can help some of life’s other problems fall more easily into place.
This extra special organization, launched here in 1990, because of the unique foresight, intelligence, advocacy and diligence of local leaders, invites everyone in the community to attend its 8th Annual Heroes for Housing Fundraising Breakfast at 8:05 a.m. on Wednesday September 15, 2021.
This even will be held virtually, at HomesFirst.org/Heroes, and you can watch at your home or office. Or, if you wish and feel COVID safe, you can watch on a big screen at Indian Summer Golf & Country Club. Please RSVP (for the big screen option), or send questions by emailing email@example.com.
Event sponsors include The Chehalis Tribe, OlyFed, WSECU and FORMA Construction.
No matter how you attend, expect to be changed by what you hear and learn during the event. As one tenant has said: “For the first time in my life, I have a safe home with stability, where I’m treated with respect. I know a lot of people take that for granted, but until you don’t have it, you have no idea how much it means. It allowed me to get my dignity back.”
Real-life stories just like that are shared during Homes First events, and they inspire community members to donate money, time or resources to the growth and future of the organization.
What Homes First does so well is provide safe and affordable rental homes for those who need them most. That is its niche, and that is what no other local nonprofit has as its central focus. Homes First then forms partnerships and builds bridges with other community organizations and nonprofits serving its tenants, so families and individuals can turn to them for other services that may be needed, such as disability support, substance abuse or mental health counseling, or senior services.
It is not at all unusual for Homes First tenants to take great pride in where they live. As a Homes First staff member recently shared: “We have a tenant who has lived with us since 2013. Every month when she pays rent, she writes a note with her rent, expressing her gratitude for the management and maintenance of the property. She was extremely happy and grateful for the garden beds and has shared her vegetables with Homes First and her neighbors.”
At a time when the landscape and the news are filled with increasingly dark news about the crushing cost of housing and the mammoth wave of homelessness both locally and globally, Homes First offers their tenants homes and the hope, dignity, personal responsibility and respect that Thurston County can be proud of.