Justine Bedell, a housing program manager for Olympic Community Action Programs (OlyCAP), relies on the Home Fund to help local clients with a wide range of needs. (Jeannie McMacken/for Peninsula Daily News)

Justine Bedell, a housing program manager for Olympic Community Action Programs (OlyCAP), relies on the Home Fund to help local clients with a wide range of needs. (Jeannie McMacken/for Peninsula Daily News)

Small Home Fund awards often make a big difference, case manager says

PORT TOWNSEND — Justine Bedell is a huge fan of the Peninsula Home Fund.

As housing program manager for Olympic Community Action Programs (OlyCAP), she works in the therapeutic courts, manages the Haines Street Cottages, and goes out to the Jefferson County jail to do discharge planning with inmates.

“What a gift the Home Fund is!” she said. “A lot of other communities don’t have this resource and that makes things so much more difficult for so many. I’m so grateful that we have this generosity in our community.

“That’s what so special about the Home Fund. It assists a lot of our population.”

Bedell says she typically uses the Home Fund for rental assistance.

“We couple it with other grants for moving costs or pay a little bit of past due rent,” she said.

“It really does make a difference. Sometimes for those with subsidized housing it covers most of their rent payment.”

She also uses vouchers for the basics most people take for granted.

“If someone is being released from jail and they don’t have any clothing, I’ll write a Home Fund voucher for that,” she said.

“Hygiene supplies are important, too. That’s often a challenge for people who are homeless or in poverty. “

And then there’s something as necessary as laundry.

“Oftentimes when children are at school and they come from a low-income situation, they don’t smell very good because their clothes are dirty. This is generally because their parents don’t have access to a washer and dryer.”

“Doing laundry gets pretty expensive,” she explained. “Especially when you are on welfare and make $420 a month. Laundry isn’t a priority. We can give someone a laundry voucher and their kids can go to school with clean clothes.”

Bedell calculates that in Port Hadlock it typically costs $2.50 for one wash, or $4.50 for a big load. Most people wait until all their laundry is dirty, and they have sheets and blankets, too. Two giant washes are $8.50.

At that point, “You haven’t even gone to the dryers yet,” Bedell said.

“For $1 you get 25 minutes of one dryer cycle. You can easily spend $15 to $20 dollars on this essential task per week. And, that doesn’t include detergent,” she said.

Car repairs are also pretty expensive. Home Fund vouchers can make a difference. For people who are on a low income, anything toward a repair bill is a help.

“We recently assisted a single mom with three kids,” Bedell said.

“She’s working and in school. We helped her with $350 toward her car repair. She was able to cover the rest of the bill with her income.

“She was able to have her car fixed so she could go to work, go to college, and take her kids to school,” Bedell said.

“It was a really helpful thing for her.“

Believe in Recovery is a drug treatment outpatient program based in Port Townsend. Bedell uses vouchers for clients who need a drug and alcohol evaluation.

“Typically these people don’t have any income because they are in jail,” she said.

“If they’re chronically addicted, I can go out there, do all the paperwork and discharge planning, then coordinate resources. I’ll write a voucher for drug and alcohol testing and get it over to Believe in Recovery.

“I discuss what’s next — where they go, resources that are available for them,” she continued.

“I handle a rather large housing grant called Crossroads. It takes families that have been chronically homeless over 12 months and puts them into permanent housing. They have to have a disability and addiction qualifies as a disability. We try to pull people out of the jail, put them into therapeutic programs, shelter them in the cottages, then work to move them into more permanent housing.”

Bedell has been in social services for four years, all of it with OlyCAP. For two years, she was in child and family case management at Head Start. For the last two years, she’s been in housing.

“Some of the people we serve live really, really raw lives. They are pretty authentic,” she said.

“People come to me wearing all their bruises and scars all over them. They don’t get to hide it,” she said.

“It gives me a lot of freedom to be who I am. I don’t put on a façade. I feel comfortable with my clients.

“I’ve seen people who have lived through literal hell — people who have experienced lying, cheating, stealing and back-stabbing, and being homeless, not knowing where they are going to sleep.”

Often they rely on drugs to stay awake, she said.

“There’s such a kindness about them,” Bedell said. “I find it extremely valuable to learn from this demographic, to see who they become and what they have to teach us.

“Of course, this is from a professional perspective. I love working with my recovering clients and those who are cleaning up their lives. It’s such a joyful thing to watch. It makes me so proud of them. They are really defying the odds.”

Bedell believes if we as a society really listen and hear the stories of those who live in poverty, or who are struggling, all of our hearts would break a little bit.

“People’s stories give so much context to who they are and what they go through. There’s so much power there,” she said.

“All you have to do is hear someone out. Just give them the space to get it off their chests in an environment that doesn’t allow judgment.

“This gives me a lot of power as a case manager. It helps me understand what I need to do next to help them. It’s a great way to build a relationship.”

Surprisingly, her clients don’t always want something tangible.

“Maybe it’s only to be heard,” she said. “That’s when you know you are doing it right.

“As a case manager, I truly want to thank the people of Jefferson and Clallam counties for their donations to the Home Fund.

“As someone who is on the front lines, I see the difference it makes. We all have a stake in the progress that everyone makes in our communities.

“The Home Fund stories have been a beautiful way for people to learn how their donations are used,” she said.

“I can’t stress enough what a difference it makes. These funds provide a safety net, and make an impact and a big, big difference for so many.

“I’ve seen it in action, daily.”

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 average amount of help this year has been $62 per person.

The maximum allowance per year is $350 per household.

• 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.)

• 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 $264,486 contributed to the Peninsula Home Fund in 2016, OlyCAP had helped 3,563 people from Jan. 1 to Dec. 29.

The remaining funding will continue to help your friends and neighbors on the Peninsula through the middle of January — when 2017 donations will begin to offer a lifeline in 2018.

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: [email protected]

Contributions so far

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, click on https://secure.peninsuladailynews.com/homefund.

Here is a list of donors whose Home Fund contributions were processed during the week of Dec. 28-Jan. 3:

Name and amount

John and Sue Miles, Port Angeles, $500.

Elks Lodge #353, Port Angeles, $200.

Edmund and Lesle Robinson, Port Ludlow, $50.

Gary and Lynn Anderson, Sequim, $100.

Paul T. Martin, Port Angeles, $100. In honor of Helen S. Martin.

Wayne and Charlotte Duchow, Port Angeles, $100.

Carol and Oscar Lindcroft, Port Townsend, $100. In honor of Dr. Edward Eissmann and his office and hospital staff.

Mara and Paul Mowery, Port Angeles, $250.

Tom Stewart, Port Townsend, $100.

Naomi Marcus, Port Townsend, $500.

Sheila and Robert Gregg, Port Angeles, $100.

Xi Iota Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi, Port Angeles, $500.

David and Patricia Meyers, Sequim, $250.

Paul Forrest and Gail McDonald, Port Angeles, $100.

RJ Services and Employees, Port Angeles, $1,000.

DEW, Sequim, $500.

Ruth Messing, Sequim, $300.

The Crow Foundation, Shreveport, La, $5,000.

Attendees of the Blue Mountain Yoga+ fundraiser, Sequim, $449.

The Heien Family, Sequim, $258. In honor of Nan and ECG.

William R. Allen, Sequim, $1,000. In honor of Lyle Prince.

Diane C. Pirner, Sequim, $500. In honor of Conrad Pirner.

Julia Roberts, Sequim, $100. In honor of Patricia Croshier.

Randall S. Johnson, Port Angeles, $300. In memory of my parents, G.W. “Pat” and Lorraine Johnson.

Name only

Lee Shames, Port Angeles. In memory of Marlene Kling.

James K. Mann, Sequim. In honor of Billie Mann.

Charles and Susan Dougall, Sequim.

Larry Fox and Nancy Prince-Fox, Port Angeles. In memory of Doug Wood.

Don and Edna Chicarell, Sequim.

Randy and Cindy Mesenbrink, Forks. In memory of Ginger Haberman.

David Meissner, Sequim.

Jo Norwood, Port Townsend. In memory of Connie Lowery.

Ingrid Sorensen, Port Angeles.

Bob and Sandy Barrett, Nordland.

Freia Palmer, Port Angeles.

Elmer P. Krogue, Port Angeles. In honor of E.P. Krogue.

Rob and Cindy Tulloch, Port Angeles.

Pam and Ted Bedford, Sequim.

Sydna and Barry Baker, Sequim.

Steve and Gwyn Callis, Port Angeles.

Susan Richardson, Port Ludlow. In memory of Tony Richardson.

Dan and Janet Gouin, Port Angeles.

Deanne Lachner, Port Angeles. In honor of Alan and Michaelle Barnard.

Walt and Teri Ward, Sequim.

Community United Methodist Church, Port Hadlock.

Dr. and Mrs. Edward A. Hopfner, Port Angeles.

Chris Lemon, Port Angeles. In memory of Dan Holmquist.

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

Bob and Deloris Donaldson, Sequim. In honor of Paul Schwabe.

Roy and Pat Jones, Port Angeles.

Shirley Van Riper, Sequim.

Estate of Margaret Savory, Edmonds.

Ted and Carol Miller, Port Angeles.

Andrea Alstrup, Sequim. In memory of Ken Alstrup.

Barbara Comer, Port Angeles.

Elizabeth Geddes, Port Angeles. In memory of Henry E. Burkhardt Jr.

Juanita Bellew Jones, Sequim. In memory of my parents and brothers.

Lucy E. Willis, Sequim. In memory of Alvin Willis.

Marianne Campbell, Port Angeles.

John Forster, Boise, Idaho.

Amy Greenlief, Port Angeles.

Sara Schwagler, Seattle. In honor of Jerry and Jackie Schwagler.

Lee Bowen.

Bryce and Gail Fish, Sequim.

Mark and Diana Schildknecht, Sequim. In loving memory of our mom, Lois Bakker, who passed away earlier this year. We miss you mom.

Pat Vautier, Port Angeles. In memory of Dan Vautier.

Maria E. Mendes, Port Townsend.

Sylvia Berquist, Sequim. In memory of Quent Berquist.

Deborah Willis, Port Angeles. In memory of mom, dad and Derek.

Bill and Virginia Kinney, Sequim.

Rosalyn Young, Sequim.

Richard Formhals, Sequim.

Ethel Butler, Port Angeles. In memory of Harold Butler.

Gilbert and Melinda Thompson, Port Angeles. In honor of Chase.

Norma A. Wiggins, Port Angeles. In memory of Dora Anton.

Mary and Cullen Kelsoe, Port Angeles. In honor of my dear sister, Shannon Rowan — deeply loved and missed.

John and Darlene Mjoen, Port Ludlow.

David and Ann Salmon, Sequim. In memory of R. Leon Salmon and Ethel Salmon.

Neal and Barbara Liden, Port Townsend.

Robert Zeff, Sequim.

James and Mary Jane Moore, Sequim. In honor of our siblings in lieu of Christmas gifts.

Daniel and Barbara Hart, Port Angeles. In honor of our parents.

Shirley and Steve Clark, Port Angeles. In memory of Pinkie and Fred and Mary and Harold.

Don and Vicki Hinrichsen, Port Angeles.

Patrick and Janice Noonan, Port Angeles. In memory of Samuel Winick.

Erwin P. Jones Jr. and Diane P. Jones, Sequim.

The Thatcher Family, Sequim. In memory of Patti Jo Hoskins and Shirley Browning.

The Skotheim Family, Port Angeles.

Patrick Slattery, Sequim. In memory of Edward Crowley and Molly O’Connor.

Mike and Melanie Webb, Sequim.

Rudy and April Hiener, Port Angeles. In memory of Ken and Charlotte Bradford.

Joan Stembridge, Salem, Ore.

Nan Evans, Port Townsend.

Ann Taylor Walberg. In memory of Lillian, Wayne and Eddie.

Cynthia McNulty, Sequim. In honor of Lois McNulty.

Keith Wollen, Port Angeles.

Patricia Carter, Port Townsend. In memory of Tony Richardson.

Montel Livingston, Sequim.

David Brewer, Port Angeles.

Phil and Kathy Giuntoli, Port Angeles. In memory of Milt and Tillie Monpas.

Tom Schaafsma, Sequim. In memory of Owen Sumerwell.

Gail Hebrank, Port Angeles.

Robert B. McComb, Port Ludlow.

Camille L. Ruble, Sequim. In memory of my parents Earl and Margery Randall and brothers Gil and Fred.

Dee and Garry Kispert, Sequim.

Keith Dekker, Port Angeles. In memory of Mary Raczkowski.

Thomas C. Floathe, Port Angeles.

Rae and Bruce Leiper, Port Angeles.

Walter and Bonnie Davison, Port Angeles.

Tom and Jan Kummet, Sequim.

Pat Gilbert, Port Angeles. In memory of Dorothy Jensen, Anne S. and Vesta E.

Darryl and Joan Walker, Sequim.

Larry and Pam Laing, Sequim.

Mr. and Mrs. Lynn Taylor, Port Townsend. In memory of Michael “JB” Taylor.

Enza McCormick and Ann Waldron, Sequim.

Robert Nuffer, Sequim.

Barbara Allen and David Allen, Forks. In memory of Barney and Sylvia Murphy.

Robert and Virginia Bowling, Sequim.

Olympic Electric Co. Inc., Port Angeles. In memory of Henry and Jane Burkhardt.

John and Diana Anderson, Sequim.

Gary and Linda Reidel, Port Angeles. In memory of our friend George Irvine. He is playing basketball with the angels.

Lucy and James Kittrick, Port Angeles.

Jeff and Barb Dixon, Port Angeles. In memory of family and friends.

Vicky Murphy, Port Angeles.

Sue Mayo, Port Angeles.

William Herrick, Carlsborg.

Chris Walvatne, Port Townsend. In memory of Clarence and Betty Brown and Casper and Anna Walvatne.

Kathleen Wesley, Port Angeles.

JES Schumacher, Port Townsend. In honor of Jay Christian Brevik, who for many years graciously helped others.

Edward Boyd, Port Angeles. In honor of Richard Boyd.

Betsy Schultz, Port Angeles.

Steven Moore, Port Townsend. In honor of Elaine Moore, Jane Stearns, Marie Callaizakis and Vince Collison.

Roberta Mantooth, Port Angeles. In honor of Robert Allman, MD.

John Kane, Sequim. In honor of good friends and neighbors who helped us through a rough patch.


Port Angeles, $500.

Port Angeles, $200.

Sequim, $50.

Sequim, $50.

Sequim, $100.

Port Angeles, $50.

Fresno, Calif., $500.

Port Townsend, $50.

Port Ludlow, $600.

Port Angeles, $50.

Sequim, $750.

Port Angeles, $500.

Port Angeles, $500.

Port Angeles, $200.

Port Angeles, $50.

Nordland, $25.

Port Angeles, $100.

Chimacum, $25.

Sequim, $100.

Sequim, $100.

Sequim, $100. In memory of Ken and Louise Sadilek.

Port Angeles, $300.

Port Angeles, $400.

Port Angeles, $50. In memory of Deborah Hollingsworth.

Sequim, $100.

Sequim, $300.

Port Townsend, $100.

Port Angeles, $1,000. In memory of Ernie and Eleanor Miller.

Sequim, $100.

Sequim, $500. In honor of our fathers, Robert and Edward, two honorable veterans who served their country proudly.

Homer, Alaska, $250.

Sequim, $100.

Sequim, $200.

Sequim, $100.

Port Angeles, $100.

Port Angeles, $20.

Port Angeles, $300. In honor of those caring for the critters.

Port Angeles, $500.

Port Angeles, $100.

Sequim, $250.

Sequim, $250.

Port Angeles, $100. In honor of Barbara Wise’s retirement, from her work pals.

Sequim, $250.

Sequim, $100. In honor of Stewart Harris.

Sequim, $50. In honor of Judi and Mark Chien.

Port Angeles, $50.

Sequim, $500.

Port Angeles, $100. In memory of my parents and grandparents, who lived their lives as examples of conscious giving.

Sequim, $100.

Sequim, $100.

Anchorage, Alaska, $500.

Port Angeles, $100.

Sequim, $200.

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