Two years ago this month, Pastor Mark Zimmerly from Madrona Grace heard that Mary’s Place was offering night shelter for families that rotated between several area congregations. He wanted to help, and offered the use of the Madrona Grace basement to help homeless families year round. The Presbyterian Network to End Homelessness volunteered to help renovate the space and the Pritt family donated funds to the endeavor. The shelter, that now houses 25 family members each night, became Julia’s Place, named after Julia Pritt, a long-standing member of the Madrona Grace congregation.
The Madrona community has supported the families at Julia’s Place by bringing in meals each night, groceries, blankets, love and community. This year, the Julia’s Place staff, Jocelyn, had some wonderful stories of her time at Julia’s Place. She recalled a six-year old African girl, Hana, who developed a deep sister-friendship with another family’s daughter, two-year-old Ilse. Every evening the two played together, and even though they spoke different languages their hearts sung! Ilse looked up to Hana and followed her around wherever she went. When Hana’s family was suddenly offered a home, they packed up their things to move out of Julia’s Place. Hana said goodbye and hugged all the families, but she spent time saying a special goodbye to Ilse’s family. It was a bittersweet moment for everyone at Julia’s Place.
Jocelyn was touched by a mother who had been a Christian singer in Mexico and had a CD of beautiful songs. She remained artistically inspired and drew beautiful scenes each day and hung them up in Julia’s Place to brighten the space.
In 2013, Julia’s Place provided over 6,000 bed nights families who would otherwise be on the streets. The need continues to grow and this year already Julia’s Place has provided 4,800 bed nights.
You can learn more about Julia’s Place and how you can get more involved at an Open House on October 14th from 6pm to 8pm at Madrona Grace Presbyterian Chuch, 832 32nd Ave. Seattle. RSVP to Abbey@marysplaceseattle.org. More at www.Juliasplace.org.