For the Reporter
KentHOPE’s recent fundraising banquet was a success, according to organizers.
The second annual event attracted 400 people and raised $63,000 for KentHOPE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing homelessness in the community.
The Nov. 1 benefit at New Beginnings Christian Fellowship showcased stories of transformation and the vision of establishing a permanent homeless center in Kent, a place where people will have around-the-clock access to those resources necessary to move toward stable housing and a more secure future.
Fifty tables filled as Julie Kimball and her family played bluegrass music.
KentHOPE board chair Pat Gray brought attention to the success of the organization’s programs: the KentHOPE Women and Children’s Day Center; Women’s Overnight Rotating Shelter; Search and Rescue Missions; and Car Camping.
The keynote speaker, Sheila Sebron, began her remarks with, “Sometimes things don’t work out the way you plan.” Sebron is a parent and veteran, formerly homeless. She is a member of the Committee to End Homelessness Governing Board, and made a compelling case for providing services and resources to those in need.
Several local churches and community members sponsored the event.
Local dignitaries at the event included Kent Police Chief Ken Thomas, state Rep. Tina Orwall (D-Des Moines) and Kent Councilmembers Dana Ralph, Dennis Higgins, Brenda Fincher and Bill Boyce.
KentHOPE’s mission is to build community by providing stable pathways out of homelessness while caring for body, mind and spirit. KentHOPE is a partnership of churches and faith-based groups, Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission, Valley Cities Counseling, businesses, community service agencies and concerned citizens. KentHOPE’s Day Center, a day shelter for homeless women and children, is at 9009 Canyon Drive in Kent.
To learn more, visit kenthope.wordpress.com.