By Barb Arland-Fye
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — Thirty years after the Congregation of the Humility of Mary began a modest program to provide safe, quality housing for families facing homelessness, the initiative has grown to provide housing and supportive services to as many as 300 people a day.
Humility Homes and Services, Inc. (HHSI) owns 18 properties in Davenport, including 41 apartments, an emergency shelter and a Fresh Start Donation Center. The nonprofit agency leases an additional 52 apartments. On any given day, 250 to 300 adults and children participate in HHSI services, according to the nonprofit agency’s 2019 Guide to Giving.
The guide provides the following list of housing and supportive services HHSI offers:
Emergency shelter — a 70-bed low-barrier emergency shelter serving women and men 18 years of age and older.
Transitional housing for veterans — provides single veterans with short- to medium-term housing and service coordination to help them secure long-term, supportive housing.
Transitional housing for veterans and their families — assists persons living with disabilities and having experienced long-term homelessness. They receive assistance with housing, financial assistance and service coordination needed to remain in safe, affordable housing and out of more costly systems of care, such as health care and criminal justice systems.
Rapid re-housing — assists families and single adults to quickly transition from homelessness into their own lease agreements through a holistic package of temporary financial assistance, service coordination and referrals.
Rent-it-forward — assists families seeking minimal, short-term financial assistance and supportive services.
Supportive services for veterans and their families (VALOR) — assists veterans and their families experiencing homelessness, or at risk of becoming homeless, with financial assistance and supportive services.
Section 8 Plus — assists families participating in the Housing Choice Voucher Program with access to homes and the service coordination they need to help maintain their housing stability.
Quad Cities Coordinated Entry Plan — Humility Homes and Services helped establish the first Coordinated Entry System in the Quad Cities. Coordinated Entry matches persons at greater risk of homelessness or experiencing homelessness with the right intervention as quickly as possible. HHSI and the Salvation Army are among the core partners and service providers in the partnership.
Fresh Start Donation Center — The volunteer-run donation center helps participants in all of the housing programs listed above to establish their own homes.
Sister Johanna Rickl, CHM, has been active on the HHS board of directors for 12 years and has seen “steady movement into the future through continual adaptation to changing needs and resources.”
She has witnessed, “Nonprofits, businesses, governing entities, churches and service groups spend time together planning how to address community needs in a more coordinated way. The increase in collaborative efforts is significant and can bring systemic change to enhance life for everyone in the Quad-City area,” she said.
HHSI is in the process of developing a new strategic plan. “We know that there will be more demand to house families in temporary shelter and that these individuals will need more economic and health support. Finding enough housing is the ongoing dilemma that government and private enterprise need to collaborate on,” said Lloyd Kilmer, HHSI’s board chairperson.
During this time of strategic planning, “it will be important to address the transition of Humility Homes and Services from a supported ministry of the sisters to a freestanding nonprofit agency capable of sustaining the sisters’ legacy of providing housing and services for those experiencing homelessness,” Sister Rickl said.