Looking for a way to make Valentine’s Day extra-special this year? A Valentine’s Day Red Carpet Event will be taking place Feb. 14 at Serious Soul Café, and the proceeds will benefit House of Matthews (HOM) homeless prevention and life skills center in Tacoma.
Located at 35501 21st Ave. SW in Federal Way, Serious Soul Café will be full of fun, food, funk and jazz à la the live music of the smooth and sultry Seatown Rhythm & Blues Players. M.C. Centell Jackson will be your host for the evening, and comedian Frank Brown will share his hilarious comedy suitable for all audiences. For the $30 ticket price you get the choice of a chicken dinner or seafood gumbo. Even if you accidentally forget to buy your Valentine a gift, Cookie Lee Jewelry will be there with a beautiful selection at affordable prices with proceeds going to HOM.
“You can take your sweetheart out for a delicious dinner, see some entertainment and even buy a gift all in one place and all for a great cause,” said House of Matthews CEO Jeannette Twitty.
HOM holds fundraisers every quarter, as this is a large part of how the organization supports its programs for the chronically homeless, for homeless veterans and for individuals released from incarceration who are referred to House of Matthews. A lot of these individuals come to the House with little, or nothing, but Twitty and her staff are there to help through HOM’s clothing bank, food bank or with furniture thanks to a partnership with NW Furniture Bank, and you don’t have to be in HOM’s housing program to access these services. House of Matthews offers case management, supportive services, transportation to medical appointments, legal assistance referrals, and much more.
“A lot of them are coming from homelessness or, if they’re released from incarceration, they’re released with whatever they have on their backs, so a lot of times when individuals come to our program they don’t have the personal essentials they need.” This includes the most basic necessities – socks and underwear, bedding and linens, toothpaste and toothbrush...the things most of us take for granted. “For these guys, these things are major but to us they may seem small,” as Twitty put it.
Through HOM’s “Sponsor-a-Bed” program, for just $10 a day anyone out in the community – individuals, families, businesses or corporations – can help ensure that House of Matthews clients, which include a good number of military veterans, have a place to lay their head at night as they work hard to improve their lives.
House of Matthews’ aim is to provide services that enhance lives and aid in reducing the recidivism of reoccurring homelessness, crime rates, and that encourage family unity. HOM offers temporary housing to accompany a six-month program that helps individuals get on their feet with a driver’s license, employment and much more, then permanent housing can be obtained either through HOM or by clients finding a place on their own.
Along with offering housing, life skills classes held every Monday, which are open to the public, are an essential component of House of Matthews’ programs. Coming up on Feb. 24 at 11 a.m., the class will be all about helping people get their child support payments in order. Representatives from the Department of Social and Health Services Division of Child Support will be there to help those who need it get into a better position to pay their child support or to find out if they’re possibly overpaying.
“Whatever situation they have going on with their child support, [Division of Child Support] is trying to reach out to them and help them with those issues,” Twitty said. She said the Division of Child Support is re-branding itself to be a helper.
“They’re trying to have a different approach as far as helping people get those issues satisfied and that’s a good thing. I’ve found out things that I didn’t even know about issues around child support so this is something every parent should know.”
How can the broader community help House of Matthews help others? Donations of new socks are always most welcome, as are backpacks – an essential need for people who have no place else to keep their stuff, Another way is for organizations and businesses in the community to sponsor HOM fundraisers. Through community partnerships, such as HOM’s neighbor First United Methodist Church of Tacoma, the Lucky Silver Tavern in Tacoma and Serious Soul Café in Federal Way, HOM enhances its services in new ways.
To learn more, contact House of Matthews at the First Tower Building, 621 Tacoma Ave., Ste. 503, or call (253) 301-0508. Also “like” them on Facebook and visit http://www.thehouseofmatthew.org.