Anastasia Webster smiles in her new home after her family received enough from the Peninsula Home Fund to add to their savings and have enough for a deposit. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/for Peninsula Daily News)

Peninsula Home Fund helps family find peace in time for Christmas, birth

By Diane Urbani de la Paz

For Peninsula Daily News

EDITOR’S NOTE: For 28 years, Peninsula Daily News readers in Jefferson and Clallam counties have supported the “hand up, not a handout” Peninsula Home Fund.

Today, we feature another in a series of articles on how the fund operates and who benefits from our readers’ generosity.

To donate online by credit card, visit https://secure.peninsuladailynews.com/homefund.

PORT HADLOCK — There is peace here, inside and out.

Anastasia Webster’s living-room window looks out on an emerald-green clearing, a swath bordered by tall trees. It’s quintessential North Olympic Peninsula, tucked away, wind sighing through the branches.

After Webster’s husband, Adrian, invites a visitor in, he busies himself picking up his twins’ toys.

In seconds they’re all put away, stowed inside the toy box as the players appear: June and Oliver, 21 months old and wide-eyed. Taking a seat on the floor with them, their mother explains how the family managed to get here.

About five years ago, Anastasia was homeless. She found a bed at Dove House in Port Townsend, the agency providing an emergency shelter for survivors of domestic violence. There, she heard about Olympic Community Action Programs, or OlyCAP, which connects people in need with basic resources.

After leaving Dove House, Webster moved around Washington state, to both sides of the Cascades. She stayed with family members and cared for her son London, who is now 5.

Three years ago, she met and fell in love with Adrian, and the couple welcomed their twins in March 2015. They went to live in Sunnyside but wanted to move someday to a place nearer the coast, a place where their children could grow up playing on the beach and in the woods.

Webster, 25, spent much of her childhood in Prosser. As a girl, she came out to the North Olympic Peninsula, visiting family and exploring places such as Fort Worden State Park.

“Those are some of my favorite memories,” she said.

Webster learned of the Garden Court Apartments, a USDA Rural Development-Washington Housing Trust property in a tranquil corner of Jefferson County. She qualified for the subsidized rent and believed this place could be ideal for her family.

They’ve had to move a lot, in search of somewhere affordable and safe for their growing family. Webster is pregnant, expecting a baby brother for London and the twins.

“The quality of low-income housing is … sometimes not livable,” she said, adding, “I was worried about the baby, about the twins, about my son,” who is in kindergarten.

But she couldn’t afford to move to Garden Court. Adrian is between jobs, and he and Webster had some money saved — but not quite enough to pay all of the move-in costs.

Then Webster remembered OlyCAP.

The agency, which administers the Peninsula Home Fund, provided $350, which put Webster over the top. The family moved in Nov. 16 — in time to prepare for the birth of their baby, due Jan. 6.

While these parents have their hands full, they are looking ahead, envisioning a new life. They’re looking at Peninsula College as a pathway to job training, better incomes and even a university one day.

“Right now, Adrian can make maybe $12 an hour,” Webster said.

Like her, he wants a college degree and a profession, to support the family and show their children what’s possible.

Living here means “an opportunity to expand ourselves. I’m really excited about the thought of being able to go to school,” Webster said.

Political science and law are the subjects that call to her; back when she lived in Seattle, she volunteered with the American Civil Liberties Union and AFL-CIO.

“That gave me a little more perspective,” Webster said, “being part of something I care about.”

Jo Dwyer, housing services coordinator at OlyCAP, noted her client’s organizational skill.

“Anastasia did a great job giving me all the information I needed, and keeping in touch with updates as she and her family were preparing to move into the Garden Court Apartments,” Dwyer wrote in an email.

“She had saved enough money to pay for a portion of their security deposit. I was impressed by that, especially knowing they live on a fixed income.”

At the same time, Webster is fully engaged in the adventure called motherhood. She’s looking forward to raising her children in a place away from the big city, a place where they can spend all summer outdoors.

“All of my kids have really taught me something,” she said, adding that the twins are different as can be: Oliver is the sensitive one, while June is independent and bossy.

“I kind of like that my daughter is a spitfire,” Webster said. She’s proud, too, of her eldest. The family was at McDonald’s recently when June went over to explore the playground, and another child came up close behind her.

“Hey, watch out for my little sister,” London called.

“He loves [the twins] very, very much. He’s a great big brother,” Mom said.

Looking out the wide window, she added:

“All of this was out of our grasp” before OlyCAP and the Peninsula Home Fund.

Peninsula’s safety net

The Peninsula Home Fund — a safety net for local residents when they suddenly face an emergency situation and can’t find help elsewhere — is seeking contributions for its annual holiday season fundraising campaign.

From Port Townsend to Forks, from Quilcene and Brinnon to Sequim and La Push, money from the fund is used for hot meals for seniors; warm winter coats for kids; home repairs for a low-income family; needed prescription drugs; dental work; safe, drug-free temporary housing; eyeglasses — the list goes on and on.

• Assistance usually averages less than $100. The maximum allowance per year is $350 per household. The average spent per household this year has been $182.27.

• All instances of help are designed to get an individual or family through a crisis — and back on the path to self-sufficiency.

Home Fund case managers often work with each individual or family to develop a plan to become financially stable — and avoid a recurrence of the emergency that prompted aid from the fund.

As needed, Peninsula Home Fund contributions are often used in conjunction with money from churches, service clubs and other donors, enabling OlyCAP to stretch the value of the contribution.

The goal again: “a hand up, not a handout.”

• No money is deducted by the Peninsula Daily News for administration fees or any other overhead.

Every penny goes to OlyCAP.

The money goes to help the most vulnerable members of our community, from infants to families to seniors.

Please note: Because of heavy community demands, the loss of grants because of the economy and recent cuts in government funding, OlyCAP beginning in 2012 was permitted to use 10 percent — 10 cents of every dollar donated — to pay for the vital programs and services for Home Fund clients. (Previously there were no deductions.)

OlyCAP has kept it in the area of 8 percent, a fraction of the average overhead of other nonprofits.

• All contributions are IRS tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law for the year in which the check is written.

Your personal information is kept confidential.

PDN and OlyCAP do not rent, sell, give or otherwise share your address or other information with anyone or make any other use of it.

Since its beginning in 1989, the fund has relied on the support of Jefferson and Clallam residents.

Using the $255,468 contributed to the Peninsula Home Fund in 2015, OlyCAP had helped 3,609 individuals — 1,266 households — on the Peninsula through the end of November.

The remaining funding of $24,708.80 will continue to help your friends and neighbors on the Peninsula through the middle of January — when 2016 donations will begin to offer a lifeline in 2017.

How to apply for a Home Fund grant

To apply for a Peninsula Home Fund grant, contact one of the three OlyCAP offices:

• OlyCAP’s Port Angeles office is at 228 W. First St., Suite J (Armory Square Mall); 360-452-4726. For Port Angeles- and Sequim-area residents.

• Its Port Townsend office is at 823 Commerce Loop; 360-385-2571. For Jefferson County residents.

• The Forks office is at 421 Fifth Ave.; 360-374-6193. For West End ­residents.

Leave a message in the voice mail box at any of the three numbers, and a Home Fund caseworker will phone you back.

OlyCAP’s website: www.olycap.org; email: action@olycap.org.

If you have any questions about the fund, phone the Peninsula Daily News at 360-4522345.

Contributions

A number of generous individuals and organizations have been donating money to the Peninsula Home Fund since the first of the year.

While most of the money is raised between Thanksgiving and Dec. 31, the fund itself never closes.

Donations of any amount are always welcome.

To donate online by credit card, please click on www.secure.peninsuladailynews.com/homefund.

Below is a list of donors whose contributions were processed between Dec. 7-13:

Name and amount

• Chris Gutmacher and Andy Stevenson, Port Angeles, $200.

• Duncan and Sue Duvall, Port Townsend, $200.

• David Sullivan and Veda Wilson, Port Townsend, $400.

• Geoff, Jake and Laura, Port Angeles, $300. In memory of Grandma and Grandpa Melly, Grandma Dolores and Grandpa Kus.

• Heien Family, Sequim, $216.

• LaVonne and Bill Mueller, Sequim, $250.

• Diann Dickey, Sequim, $250.

• Ray Weinmann, Port Angeles, $200.

• David and Laurie Reeve, Port Angeles, $100. In honor of Clallam County veterans.

• Marcia Fagin, Sequim, $500. In memory of my parents, Arthur and Marjorie Fagin, with love and gratitude.

• Ed Bedford, Port Angeles, $100. In memory of Ted and Ethel Bedford.

Names only

• Marilyn Mantor, Sequim.

• Terry and Cleone Telling, Quilcene. In memory of Ray A. Kawamoto.

• Albert Camin, Port Angeles.

• H. Chadwick, Sequim. In memory of Emily.

• Marie Botnen, Sequim. In memory of Nadene Botnen.

• Hazel Vail, Port Angeles. In memory of Ken Vail.

• Dennis A. Duncan, Port Angeles. In memory of Dorothy C. Duncan.

• Anne Crowe and Cora Pond, Port Angeles. In memory of Eileen Gardoff.

• Lee and Irene Wyman, Port Angeles. In memory of Mari Andrus and her pet, Jessie.

• Chris Lemon, Port Angeles. In memory of Danny Holmquist. We miss you, bud!

• Randy and Kim Lemon, Port Angeles. In memory of Danny Holmquist.

• Cedars of Dungeness Women’s Golf Association “18-Hole Golfers,” Sequim. Thank you to our tee sponsors of our annual Wine & Roses Tournament who made this gift possible.

• Millie Lyon, Port Angeles.

• Ann Chang, Port Angeles. In honor of my amazing family.

• Heather Peters, Chimacum. In memory of Jack and Betty Phillips. For Nana, who made the sugar cookies every Christmas, and for Grampy, who always brought home treats. For both of you, who shaped so much of our world and taught us to savor every sweet moment.

• Heather Peters, Chimacum. In memory of Ellsworth “Pete” Peters. For Grandpa, gone but alive in our memories and traditions. (I still make ham the way you taught my dad, with mustard and brown sugar!)

• Oke Lindh, Port Hadlock.

• Polly and Ray Gilkeson, Sequim.

• Raymond Morgan, Port Angeles.

• Don Schreiner, Sequim. In memory of Gwen Schreiner.

• Richard and Barbara Jepson, Sequim.

• Bob and Verna Edwards, Port Angeles.

• Mike and Patti Brandt, Sequim.

• Jim and Laurine Drennan, Port Angeles.

• Judith Carlson.

• Tom and Deb Cox, Sequim.

• Judy Volkmann, Port Angeles. In memory of my Dan.

• Tom Schaafsma, Sequim. In memory of Owen Sumerwell.

• Pamela Westlake Mirrer, Sequim. In honor of Laurie Westlake.

• Ed Currington, Sequim.

• The Strait Family, Port Angeles. In memory of Cyrus T.D. Strait.

• Pat Ferris, Port Angeles.

• Al and Nancy Davis, Sequim.

• Elizabeth Ann and Jackson L. Williams, Sequim.

• Diana Caso, Port Angeles

• Diane Reaves, Sequim. In memory of Graham Reaves.

• James A. Loveland, Port Angeles. In memory of Grace A. Loveland.

• Nick and Sandy Larson, Port Angeles. In memory of Fred and Bob Michalscheck.

• Kathleen Devanney, Port Townsend.

• Kay McClurken, Port Angeles. In memory of Al, Chuck and Stu.

• Donna Andrew, Port Angeles. In memory of Jerry M. Andrew.

• Terry and Patty Barlow, Port Angeles.

• Carol Philpott, Port Angeles. In memory of Bob Philpott.

• Joe and Renee Bliele, Sequim. In honor of Midge and Erv Wotasiak.

• Fred and Ann Weinmann, Port Townsend.

• Mark and Diana Schildknecht, Sequim. In honor of the men and women of our Armed Forces and all veterans who have honorably served this nation.

• Ann and Enza, Sequim.

• Neil Burkhardt and Jane Stewart, Sequim.

• Kathi and Bob Pressley, Port Angeles. In honor of Florence Swanson.

• Colleen and Andy Brastad, Port Angeles. In memory of Lorraine O’Brien.

• Kathy and Jim Wesley, Port Angeles.

• Joanne Meinzen, Sequim.

• Jim and Sheri Mackrow, Port Angeles.

• Harriet Angulo, Port Angeles.

• Patty Waite, Sequim.

• Neil and Jaqueline Eklund, Sequim.

• Al and Barbara Deese, Port Angeles. In memory of Ann Holke.

• Robin Westler, Port Ludlow.

• Matthew Duchow, Port Angeles.

• Marcus Reinertson, Port Angeles.

• Del and Kris Cadwallader, Port Angeles. In memory of sister, Pam (Cadwallader) Egnew and “Butcher” Dave Pigors. In honor of our military and veterans. God bless.

• Paul and Phyllis Sprinkle, Sequim.

• Kay and David Goetz, Port Townsend.

• Don Claussen and Pat Beltz, Sequim.

• Darryl Huddleston, Sequim.

• Emery and Lila Winters, Port Angeles. In memory of our parents, Emery and Nancy Winters, Maxine Willis and Troy Foutch.

• Don and Barbara Smith, Port Townsend.

• Dorothea Morgan, Port Angeles.

• Betsy Schultz, Port Angeles.

• Lillian Adamson, Port Angeles. In memory of Bill.

• Riley and Ann Bigler, Sequim

• Jay and Randy Herb, Sequim.

• Tom and Debbie McGoff, Port Angeles. In memory of Debra Fox McGoff and Matthew Thomas McGoff.

• Dale and Carol Warner, Port Angeles. In memory of Violet and Sarah.

• Patricia Y. Vautier, Port Angeles. In memory of Dan Vautier.

• Phyllis Gerber, Sequim. In memory of Max Gerber.

• Rita Marston, Port Angeles. In memory of Don Marston.

• Hazel M. Blake, Sequim.

• Rob and Cindy Tulloch, Port Angeles.

• Candace and Mike Shale, Sequim.

• Beverly Smola, Sequim. In memory of Tom Carlin.

• Michael and Katherine Smiley, Port Ludlow

• Marian and Chuck McGilvra, Port Angeles.

• Joe and Naomi Denhart, Port Angeles. In memory of our parents.

• Al and Nancy Oman, Port Angeles. In memory of our parents.

• Dick and Dottie Foster, Port Angeles.

• Charlie Byrd, Sequim. In memory of Karen Byrd.

• Lucy E. Willis, Sequim.

• Gary R. Swenson, Port Angeles.

• Vicki and Greg Sensiba, Sequim.

• Robbin and Patricia Hammel, Port Angeles.

• Bill and Sharon Alton, Port Angeles.

• Carol L. Martell, Port Angeles. In memory of Ray and Eleanor Martell, RaElla and Christopher Martell.

• William and Margaret Klover, Port Angeles.

• Fred and Karen Hall, Sequim.

• Robert B. Sheridan, Sequim. In honor of Paul Cook Sheridan.

• Tom and Carol Sinton. In memory of Mary and Mel Sinton.

• Larry and Lynn Gosser, Port Angeles.

• Lynn and Jenifer Taylor, Port Townsend.

• Josephine W. Pedersen, Port Angeles.

• Jean and E.C. Gockerell, Sequim. In memory of Carl Gockerell.

• Gene and Ann Trelstad, Port Angeles.

• Bill and Joan Riedel, Sekiu. In memory of the Riedel family.

• Michael Witkin, Port Angeles.

• Dan and Esther Darrow, Port Ludlow.

• Paul Rogland, Port Townsend.

• Bill and Georgia Keeran, Sequim.

Amount only

• $100, Sequim.

• $300, Port Angeles.

• $100, Port Angeles.

• $100, Port Angeles.

• $110, Port Angeles. In memory of Rachel Corrie.

• $200, Port Townsend. In memory of Kenneth.

• $100, Port Angeles.

• $25, Joyce.

• $75, Sequim.

• $50, Sequim.

• $2,000, Port Angeles. In memory of Jack Rockwell. I loved you not only for what you were, but for what I was when with you. Perhaps all this is what makes lasting love.

• $3,000, Sequim.

• $25, Sequim.

• $30, Sequim.

• $100, Port Angeles.

• $50, Bellingham.

• $150, Port Townsend.

• $100, Sequim. In memory of our parents.

• $50, Sequim.

• $300, Port Angeles.

• $500, Port Angeles.

• $500, Port Angeles.

• $75, Port Townsend.

• $500, Port Ludlow.

• $150, Port Angeles.

• $200, Port Angeles.

• $250, Port Angeles.

• $35, Sequim.

• $250, Sequim.

• $250, Port Angeles. In memory of Marian Fisken Byse.

• $100, Port Townsend.

• $500, Sequim. In memory of our son Mark.

• $200, Sequim. In honor of Lucy the Wonder Dog.

• $35, Port Angeles.

• $100, Port Angeles. In memory of Bjorn Dahlin.

• $150, Sequim.

• $50, Port Hadlock.

• $200, Sequim.

• $750, Sequim.

• $100, Sequim.

• $200, Port Angeles.

• $100, Port Angeles.

• $200, Port Angeles.

• $250, Port Angeles. In honor of Valerie.

• $25, Port Angeles.

• $100, Sequim.

• $1,000, Sequim.

• $30, Port Angeles. In memory of Casey and Nina Rumore.

• $200, Port Angeles. In memory of Philip T. Straub and George Gillis.

• $150, Port Townsend.

__________

EVEN THE BEST handwriting can be hard to decipher at times.

Please report any errors in this list to 360-452-2345.

We’ll rerun the listing correctly.

Our sincerest appreciation again to our donors.

^

Give voice to your heart

A GIFT OF any size is welcome.

Peninsula Home Fund has never been a campaign of heavy hitters.

If you can contribute only a few dollars, please don’t hesitate because you think it won’t make a difference.

Every gift makes a difference, regardless of its size.

From children’s pennies to checks for thousands of dollars, the generosity of Peninsula Daily News readers makes a positive difference.

All contributions are IRS tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law for the year in which the check is written.

Your personal information is kept confidential.

PDN does not rent, sell, give or otherwise share your address or other information with anyone or make any other use of it.

To donate, write a check to “Peninsula Home Fund” and attach it to the coupon that appears in today’s PDN.

Mail both items to Peninsula Home Fund, Peninsula Daily News, P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362.

You can also contribute online using a credit card: Just click on https://secure.peninsuladaily news.com/homefund.

^

To delay may mean to forget.

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