Hello friends of Aileen’s!
It has been a difficult year, but Aileen’s continues to support women in south King County in best ways we can.
Since mid-March, we’ve had to close our communal space and switched our services to food and resources giveaway out of a parking lot. Our peer leaders, volunteers, and staff gave away boxes and boxes of food, clothes, hand sanitizers and masks, harm reduction supplies, and other stuff, expanding our services to anyone who needed them to counter immediate impact of the lockdown.
In late summer, we took a week off for what is going to be our annual peer leader retreat. We brought in a trainer to talk about our individual and community priorities and accomplishments, and map out our future. Over the last year, we have stepped up case management for our peer leaders on things like getting driver’s license back, dealing with court and CPS issues, etc. and peer leaders are beginning to take greater power and responsibilities within our organization, with three peer leaders moving on to become paid staff members for Aileen’s.
We also began to slowly re-open our space, allowing 1-2 people inside at the time so that they can use our bathroom and shower. We also set up a canopy outside our space with an outdoor heater so we can meet our peers there. That has become harder under the Governor’s new order limiting outdoor gatherings to five people or less, but we are working to protect everyone’s safety while providing what they need. We prepare hot nutritious food from scratch for 50-75 people every week like split pea soup, chili, chicken and dumplings, and cole slaw. In addition to our outdoor canopy, we currently go to three locations on our outreach van to continue providing food and supplies to everyone in need, especially with the return of the cold, rainy season.
Particularly high on our updated wishlist are: blanket, coats, socks, hand warmers, boots, propane bottles, tents, hand sanitizers. We also need clothes, food, and other personal supplies. And in case you are wondering, we also take cash 🙂
If you have something you can drop off, please contact us.
Donations can be made online at:
Volunteering for Aileen’s looks different because of the COVID restrictions, but we continue to need volunteers who: 1. cook food before our outreach (outreach is every Tuesday evening, so cooking need to be done on Monday or Tuesday morning); 2. drive our van when we go out on outreach (also Tuesday evening), or help with data entry. Please contact us if you are interested. (And also, if you are an existing volunteer, thank you and we still need you.)
Also: we were recently invited by another social service provider to give a couple of online trainings (one about harm reduction and another about supporting sex workers and people in the sex trade) and it was a great experience. Our new peer leader turned staff Teranie and Devyn joined co-founders Leslie and Emi on these presentations. We want to do more! If your organization needs a staff training on these topics–or have some other idea–please contact us!
Thank you for your support + let’s hang in there!