Mamma’s Hands: Changing Lives for Decades

People will come together at The Golf Club at Newcastle on April 26 for the “She Has a Dream” fundraising gala to benefit an Eastside nonprofit that has been around for decades helping homeless people and families. 

Mamma’s Hands has been serving folks in vulnerable situations since the 1990s — it is small in size, but big on impact.  

Within Mamma’s Hands there is the House of Hope — a shelter with two homes on acreage that serves women and children in crisis, located somewhere quiet and healing on the Eastside. Established in 1994, the shelter assists families who meet the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) definition of homelessness. About 50 percent of the families served are from the Eastside, and about 80 percent have experienced recent or prior domestic violence. On average, families stay about four to six months — but each situation is unique. 

“It takes about $40,000 a month to operate the House of Hope, and we work hard to make sure that no family that wants to come into the program is turned away,” said Kimberly Jackson-Belaggoun, director of House of Hope. She first worked there after college for about five years. She left and embarked on a nonprofit career that spanned nearly a decade. In 2017, she was back as the director of House of Hope, and she has been recognized locally and nationally for her efforts to end family homelessness. 

Mamma’s Hands has many heartwarming success stories to share.

One mom, Brenda, worked hard to put food on the table for her four kids. Problems at home caused her to pack up the kids and head across the country one night to get away. She had family in the Seattle area — but soon, 8 months pregnant, she and her kids were sleeping on the floor of an emergency shelter. When they moved into House of Hope, things got brighter. The kids thrived in school; her fifth child was born; and House of Hope helped get her services and support, so that she could get back on her feet. Today, the family is in its own transitional apartment, and Brenda is on her way back into the workforce, according to Jackson-Belaggoun.

Brenda and her kids

Brenda and her kids
Photo by: Ali Bee Photography

“Our hope is that this will be the very last shelter stay for our residents, and because of the hard work of the families, our staff, volunteers, and collaborative partners, we have a 95 percent success rate,” she said. “When mothers and children leave the House of Hope to their new homes, they remain successfully housed for a minimum of the two years that we follow them through our after-care program.” 

There are more programs under the Mamma’s Hand umbrella, including the Phone Home Program, a weekly street outreach in downtown Seattle that offers help to single homeless adults, and a Homeless Traveler’s Assistance Program — the only one of its kind in the state. Learn more, and buy tickets for the fundraising gala at mammashands.org.

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