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shelterworks News from the Willis Dady Emergency Shelter




Case Notes

A Veteran Success Story In January 2014 Tom arrived at the Willis Dady Emergency Shelter from Iowa City. Tom had been staying at Shelter House in Iowa City for the past 6 months. Before that, Tom was living in his sister’s backyard in a tent until an alcohol infused argument caused his sister to ask Tom to leave for good. Tom was a Vietnam vet who suffered from PostTraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that had never been properly treated. Tom dealt with his pain by selfmedicating with drugs and alcohol. After deciding to catch a ride to Cedar Rapids, Tom was told of a program targeted specifically to help homeless veterans find stable housing. That same day, Tom was checking into the Willis Dady Emergency Shelter and completing paperwork for the program, known as Operation Home. Soon after settling into Willis Dady, I began working with Tom as his case manager. Tom was very open and honest with me about his past and admitted to putting drugs and alcohol before employment, housing, and seeking help for his PTSD. Tom made it clear he did not come to Cedar Rapids strictly to find housing but to once and for all face his issues and make a long term change for the better. Over the last couple of weeks Tom has started meeting regularly with a therapist to address his past. He has also created a positive network of supporters within the veteran community. Tom and I have met with several landlords to

find stable housing. Tom is always the first to arrive to the meetings with a folder containing all needed documents, along with a firm handshake and warm smile. Tom will be the first to tell you he’s made some mistakes along the way, but he has also had some great accomplishments. Recently, Tom was approved for an apartment and will soon be moving in. He continues to meet regularly with his therapist and is currently looking for part time employment. Tom has told me many times he had spent countless years masking his pain, but the day he left for Cedar Rapids he decided he would no longer hide from, but face his issues head on. In making this decision, Tom has changed the direction his life was going and created a positive path he vows to follow each and every day. Note: Denine Rushing has been on the staff of Willis Dady since 2006. She is a Veteran Advocate with the Operation Home program and Community Liaison. She can be contacted at or 319 362-7555, ext. 106.

Dady Doings Red, White, and Blues

3rd Annual Benefit Concert & Silent Auction

5:00 pm, Saturday, April 5 at Veterans Memorial Bldg

Willis Dady Emergency Shelter Board of Directors James Locke, Treasurer Kay Henry Gabe Erickson Janet Slimak, President Theresa Ann Trimble Rebecca Jacobs, Vice President Tim Carson Sam Jones Melissa Cullum Bobette Ash, Secretary Dave McInally Jason Vestweber

Charisma Wickham Tim Wilson, Executive Director

A Timeless Gift Last year, this newsletter mentioned the fact that Mr. John Harrington III had included Willis Dady as a beneficiary of his estate when he died in February at the age of 53. John and his mother Jean, who had died a few years earlier, were steadfast supporters of Willis Dady during their lives. John also loved animals, in particular his beloved Husky, Miah, who is doing well in the loving home of his adoptive parents. John also remembered his church and animal shelter and rescue programs in his will, leaving a lasting memorial for those entities to continue their missions, which were close to his heart. We learned in the past few days that the bequest to Willis Dady totals over $100,000, the largest gift this agency has ever received. His generosity is both overwhelming and humbling. Needless to say, it will be put to good use in helping fulfill our mission now and well into the future. We are honored beyond expression that Willis Dady Emergency Shelter and those we serve will be part of John’s legacy.

I have written here from time to time about the importance of those partner agencies and institutions that help make it possible for us to do what we do. This includes colleges and universities, who, among other things, fulfill a host of helpful roles, especially overnight volunteers and interns. The first semester of 2014 is turning up a bumper crop of the latter. We have no less than five interns, including two graduate students, one of whom we share with our neighbor and partner agency Catherine McAuley Center. The roles they perform vary and hopefully will provide them with valuable experience that will serve them well in their chosen fields. They hail from five institutions: Cornell College, Kaplan University, Mount

Yadriana Kavits USC

Lindsey Ellickson Mount Mercy

Mercy University, and our newest partners, the University of Northern Iowa and University of Southern California. These latter include candidates for Masters in Social Work who also happen to share an Army connection; one is a 23-year veteran and the other is on assignment as a local recruiter. Not every intern is here all semester but there will be a brief period when all five are here. It is a blessing to be sure, as they are already helping us to accomplish projects that have needed attention. However, it takes time to plan projects and get the interns started as well as to orient them to the agency and community as well as to supervise and counsel them. I and other full-time staff have our hands full! Fortunately the interns have thus far been up to their various assigned tasks and have demonstrated a great deal of enthusiasm for both learning and service. These internships are another reminder that solving homelessness requires a team effort and a variety of contributions from different partners. Fortunately ours is a very generous, talented and resource-rich community. -- Tim Wilson

Colin Cline Cornell College

Sonja Winders Kaplan University

Scott Wallingford UNI

Give to wdeS

How Can I Help? Overnight Volunteer

We have a hard time finding volunteers to staff overnight during the summer. If you can help, please contact Denine at 319-362-7555 ext. 106 or

Financial Support

Help Now To contribute to shelter operations and services:

Online 1. Go to 2. Click on “How to Help” 3. Click on the box near the bottom labeled “Donate Now through Network for Good” 4. Enter your donation and credit card number U.S. Mail 1. Return the envelope included in this mailing with your contribution

Invest In Our Future To help ensure that shelter and services continue into the future, make a donation to our Prairie Fund Endowment at the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.

Online 1. Go to 2. Move cursor to “Donors” option near top of page 3. Click on “Giving Opportunities” 4. Click on “Search Giving Opportunities” 5. Scroll down to “Willis Dady Emergency Shelter” on alphabetical list and click on “Action” at far right Phone 1. 319 366-2862

Our Sunday Table Program

Willis Dady is looking for groups to prepare a Sunday lunch for approximately 30 people and bring it to the shelter; we provide tableware and the mouths to feed. Clients and staff enjoy the meal and conversation. All help clean up. There are several dates available in the first part of 2014, including: March 30, April 27, May 25, and June 8, 22 and 29.

WDES is proud to be a Partner Agency of the United Way of East Central Iowa

Volunteer at Willis Dady

Willis Dady is always in need of volunteers for all kinds of tasks. Please contact Denine for details at 319-362-7555 ext. 106, or email

Donate Items to Stuff, Etc.

WDES has made arrangements with Stuff, Etc. to accept items on behalf of the shelter. Proceeds from sold items will be applied to our account. When dropping off at Stuff, Etc., 252 Blairs Ferry Rd. NE C.R. Please use account number 13519.


Special thanks to some of Those who have recently given Donations or awarded Grants Abbie Animal Clinic Adcraft Printing Billion Auto Entrepreneurial Services Fairfax Bank First Presbyterian Church of Cedar Rapids First Presbyterian Church of Mount Vernon Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation - Steve and Joanne Carfrae Fund Jared & Carol Hills Foundation John F. Kennedy High School Student Government Lutheran Church of the Resurrection Mercy Medical Staff St. Jude Church Thrivent, Northwest Linn County Chapter Trinity Lutheran Church United Methodist Foundation University of Iowa Credit Union Westminster Presbyterian Church

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 49 Cedar Rapids, IA

Willis Dady Emergency Shelter, Inc. 1247 4th Ave SE Cedar Rapids, IA 52403


Board Members Meet Our Board Members!

James Locke

James Locke graduated inn 2012 from Coe College with a degree in psychology and an influence on economics. He currently works as a financial advisor with ING Financial Partners, coaches with the DC Elite Wrestling Club out of Coe College, and the Vinton Vikings kids club. He is engaged to be married and lives in Cedar Rapids with fiancÊe Sandra Krueger, dog Homer and cat Macaroni. Volunteering at the shelter was a natural step after growing up on the south side of Minneapolis and seeing people in need day after day all around his home, school and city. He hopes to assist in the growth of the shelter’s influence and reach during his term as treasurer.

14 spring wd newsletter  

Willis Dady Newsletter Spring 2014

14 spring wd newsletter  

Willis Dady Newsletter Spring 2014