Imagine a 6-year-old boy who has never had his own bed to sleep in, or a mom with three children who have been homeless for 18 months. These are just a couple of the stories of the residents at Acres of Diamonds in Duvall.
Acres of Diamonds is not a homeless shelter. Shelters offer a temporary place to live. Once a person or family is accepted into Acres, it will be their permanent home for a couple of years.
Acres of Diamonds is transitional housing for homeless women and children. Acres has been a godsend to countless women and children in the Puget Sound area; it gives them a chance at a new beginning.
Acres of Diamonds has been in Duvall for 17 years. It has helped hundreds of homeless women and children get back on their feet.
The stories of the past and current residents are as varied as the people themselves. Some have had issues with substance abuse; others have been victims of domestic violence.
Most commonly now, the residents have ended up at Acres because of the depressed economy.
One thing they do all have in common when they arrive, they are homeless. Acres is a Christian facility. Its staff and volunteers embrace the residents and teach and encourage them to become independent, Christian women.
Acres receives numerous calls for housing all of the time. The need is tremendous. In January, for example, they had 89 calls for requests for housing. They could only accept two.
When the new residents arrive, they are interviewed and together, they set goals.
The residents must be clean and sober; they must follow the house rules, be willing and able to work or go to school, be comfortable in a Christian environment and go to church.
The new residents start in phase one, which is a multi-family house with seven women and their children. They eventually move to phase two, which also houses seven women and their children, in seven separate apartments. The ideal path is for the residents to attend school or find a job and hopefully become self supportive in two years.
Peggy McNamara is the interim executive director and Elizabeth Miller is the program director. Their biggest obstacle currently is the need for consistent donations, donors and volunteers.
Their goal would be to triple the number of residents in phase one. If you are interested in making a donation, sponsoring a family or would like to contribute to the newly established birthday fund for Acres kids, please contact Peggy through the Acres of Diamonds website at acresofdiamonds.org/. To see a list of current needs, click on Get Involved, or call (425) 788-9999.
Acres is currently having a paper goods drive for the entire month of April. Please drop off bath tissue, paper towels, baby wipes, diapers, facial tissues and napkins at the “Giving Box” located at Union Bank in Duvall. Union Bank is located at 15305 Main St. NE in Duvall.