Move-In Ministry

Move-In Ministry serves people moving out of homelessness into housing by providing household goods, furniture, and help moving.

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What:  Started by Andrea Liggett (Holy Family), Joy Thielsen (LWUMC) and LeAnn White, the Move-In Ministry seeks to meet an unmet need – household goods and furniture for people exiting homelessness and physical help moving items into the new home. We serve anyone who needs our services, as resources allow, primarily on the Eastside. City of Kirkland staff Meli Paulo has referred people. It is currently a loose partnership between Holy Family, Lake Washington UMC, and Sophia Way, and does not have an official fiscal sponsor, staff, or budget. Donations needing a 501c3 are routed through Holy Family or Lake Washington UMC.

How: Donations are mainly from friends, churches, and nonprofit organizations like Assistance League and St. Vincent DePaul.  Offer Up, Facebook Marketplace, Craig’s List and neighborhood organizations are scoured often to find free items.  All the moving of furniture and home goods is done by volunteers.

*Moving items to a client’s home is a challenge.  We either borrow a truck and move things ourselves or put the responsibility on the client.  That has been daunting for most clients. * This is often combined with moving items from a client’s storage unit.

Money for purchased items are supported by LWUMC and Holy Family. Shower curtains, pillows, silverware, towels, sheets, and blankets are basic essentials that we often do not get donated. We shop at Dollar Store, Target, Fred Meyer, and Goodwill to try and find the best price on needed items.

 

Where: Holy Family provides, free of charge, storage space in a shed on their Kirkland property. *Holy Family shed is available M-F after 4 pm during the school year and any time on weekends. That time constraint is difficult for the case managers from New Bethlehem and Sophia Way as they work M-F 8-5. * 

Benefits: Moving a client into an apartment is the goal of most programs that serve people experiencing homelessness. However, if someone moves into an apartment without the proper furnishings, it can be a very challenging environment. Without this service, I had clients who couldn’t use the shower because there was no shower curtain; couldn’t sleep inside because there was no bed (continuing to sleep in their car because it was padded and handicapped accessible); unable to cook and feed themselves due to no pots, pans, or dishes; and unable to feel settled and stable due to belongings in heaps on the floor. The items from Move-in Ministry make an apartment a home, showing clients respect and dignity, and improving a client’s ability to stay, and thrive, in housing.

Needs:  Storage Space—larger than current shed; available more hours to be more compatible with nonprofit staff availability (cost – $ 300-500 /month? or donated – is there city space?)

Vehicle – truck that is always available (cost – $20,000? Plus, insurance and maintenance – nonprofit partners do not want to own this vehicle)

Funds to purchase household items – $50-75/household.

Clients served in 2021 – 75

Clients served in 2022 – 106

Clients served in 2023 –   145 (referred by Sophia Way, LWUMC Safe Parking, St Vincent DePaul, Lake Washington School District, City of Kirkland, New Bethlehem, and Bothell United Methodist Church)