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During four years of involvement with Our House, a teen volunteer sees what homelessness really is & finds out that she can do something about it.

Our House currently has 49 team members. Meet two of them in this issue.

Case Manager Joy Ritchey interviews a client.

A team from the Little Rock Fire Department visited Our House’s youth programs to talk about fire safety & what fire fighters do. The kids explored the equipment on the fire truck & took turns sitting in the driver’s seat & holding the hose.

302 E Roosevelt Rd; Little Rock, AR

Apply for a job with our Shelter or youth programs.

Apply for one of our 20 AmeriCorps Summer VISTA positions.

Support Our House by shopping at My Favorite Thrift Store.

Look here for one-click access to every issue of our newsletter.

newsletter design & all photos by Amanda Woods, an Our House VISTA, except pg 16 photos by Grant Harrison, pg 19 photo by Grace Depper, pg 20 photo by Greg Barr, pg 21 photo by Whitney Wellborn © 2008-2013

by Georgia Mjartan, Executive Director “I wrote a check.” Sydney Alman puts it humbly. The 17-year-old recently gave a very generous gift to Our House’s new Children’s Center. “My mom and I had been talking about how great the new center is going to be and everything it’s going to do. The next day I got a letter in the mail announcing the campaign for Room To Grow. After I read the letter, I realized that even though I was passionate about the issue, I hadn’t done much about it. This was my way of doing something.” Sydney has been involved with Our House since she was 12 years old. “For my bat mitzvah, I made a recipe book that had healthy and affordable snacks. I came to the Children’s Center and taught the children how to make some of them.” It was a great project for Our Club. Our kids love to cook! However, as often happens with volunteers of all ages, the

Photos: Pg 5 During her volunteer project in Our Club in November 2008, Sydney helps Morrison, Kevon, & Kelly choose vegetables to build a fun, healthy snack shaped like faces & bugs. Pg 6 Sydney helps Kevon, Rory, & Kelly with their vegetable creatures.

biggest impact may have been the influence that Our House’s kids had on their volunteer.

“This was my first major volunteering experience. A lot of the kids were in my grade and knew my friends.” Sydney, remembering the new ideas and feelings that stayed with her after her volunteer project more than four years ago, says “homelessness can happen to anyone. Our House does such a good job of changing my perception of homelessness. I had always thought of it as someone on a street corner. Serving at Our House has really changed that perception.” Sydney’s parents, Jan and Larry Alman, are also involved with Our House, and the family had discussed Our House’s plans for the new

” Children’s Center. Sydney says, “I really like what the Children’s Center is setting out to do. My mom said that people don’t understand what the mission is and how much trouble it has been to get it funded. I thought, I can give to it.” Sydney, a student at Little Rock Central High School, had earned some of the money by baby-sitting and teaching religious school at her Temple. The rest was money she had saved from her last summer job as a camp counselor. “I had saved that money, so I decided that was the best way to use it.” Sydney has advice for other young people who might be reading this. “Talking about an issue and making it known is great, but doing something is even better. Writing a paper is one thing. Taking action is completely different and more powerful.”

The Youth Programs Coordinator will operate Our House’s outof-school time program & 8-week summer program. The out-ofschool time program serves 40 youth ages 6-17, & the summer program serves up to 70 youth every day. Bachelor’s degree is required. Applicants should have at least 3-5 years of experience working with youth. Click here to review the complete position description.

The Youth Worker (part-time) will work with the youth in Our House’s out-of-school time program & 8-week summer program. Responsibilities include helping plan activities; ensuring safety of all children; helping the youth with homework; tutoring; & creating an enriching, fun, & safe environment for the youth. Must be available to work Monday—Friday, 2 p.m.—6 p.m. High school diploma or equivalent is required. At least 1 year working with youth is preferred. Click here to review the complete position description.

The Preschool Teacher will be responsible for supervision of children; developing & implementing a developmentally appropriate curriculum; & communicating with parents, members of the community, & other professionals. High school diploma/ GED & at least one year of experience working with children required. Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education strongly preferred. Must pass a drug test & background checks. Click here to review the complete position description.

The Shelter Supervisor is responsible for ensuring the safety of all residents and enforcing Our House program rules and policies. Shifts are from noon until midnight, Saturday and Sunday. Social services or residential program experience is preferred. Click here to review the complete position description.

To apply for any of these positions, send your resume to Please put the job title in the subject line. Check for new job opportunities any time at

how were you greeted at your last summer job?

be an Our House Summer VISTA 20 positions available in these areas Little Learners Child Development Center Summer Youth Program In-Kind Donations Program Positions run May 30th to August 9th, including training. Members get an $928/month living allowance and their choice of either an Eli Segal AmeriCorps Education Award OR a cash award of $250 at the end of service.

To apply, send your resume and cover letter to Jamal at

Our House staff since August 2012

I am responsible for planning our major fundraising events & thanking our monetary donors as well as tracking our monetary donations. We hold two major fundraising events each year. In the spring we host Dinner on the Grounds, a southern supper on the grounds of a historic site in Little Rock. During the holiday season, we host Tie One On, a silent & live auction that pairs fantastic auction items with aprons that have been beautifully painted or designed by local artists.

I love serving at Our House because of the people that I get the opportunity to work with. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to hear a variety of perspectives & stories from these wonderful people.

My long-term career goal is to work in campaign management. I enjoy work that combines strategic planning, marketing, fundraising, & public relations to make positive changes at the local, state, or national level.

During the ‘90s, my family lived in Nashville & my father managed a band that had a few hits. He would bring me, a 7-year-old, to sound checks, & I would get onstage & sing with the band.

My parents are my role models. They have taught me to value & love all human beings, to serve others always, & to use every day as an opportunity to learn. Plus, they are really cool & listen to great music, appreciate all types of books, & enjoy good food.

hometown Kuna, Idaho education Anthropology BA & Linguistics minor, Idaho State University family sister Erin Bowen Our House staff since August 20, 2012

I’m the person to call when you want to volunteer with Our House. I screen, track, manage, & coordinate all of the volunteers that come through here. I’m responsible for putting on volunteer events as well as keeping up volunteer retention.

There is a lot of material that we have on our website that give a good idea about what our volunteer opportunities look like. We even have a slideshow video. People can browse through that & fill out the volunteer application that’s also available online.

COMMUNICATION. It is vey important that I stay on top of what our volunteer needs are in each program area, & those needs can be very wide & varying with different levels of skill or knowledge that is required.

I hope to have a position working on education reform in the public service sector.

Equal opportunity & access for everyone to achieve independence & happiness. Not everyone was born with the same tools to be able to do that, & I would like to be a part of addressing that issue & finding solutions for it.

benefitting Our House

109 N. Van Buren St. Little Rock 353-0642 4606 JFK Blvd. North Little Rock 246-5741 605 W. Main St. Jacksonville 501-772-5139 Pick-up is available for furniture donations.

board games $1.99 to 4.99 Play-Doh 59¢, lamp $119.99

Justin Sanders Director of Client Services, Our House with his wife Brittan

On the lawn of the Terry House Featuring live music by Lagniappe

Friday, May 3rd 6:30 p.m.

$150 per person Provides two weeks of Our House’s summer program for one homeless youth.

Purchase your tickets online at or call 501-374-7383 extension 228.

by Joy Ritchey, Case Manager Renee, an exemplary resident of Our House and the most senior resident of our women’s dorm, answered a few questions about herself and her experience at Our House. Renee was born in Marianna and grew up all over Arkansas. She has two sisters and two brothers. Renee says, “This was before computers, so we spent a lot of time outside. We had a lot of fun playing outside. I was a member of the gymnastics team (believe it or not!) and the track team. I enjoyed Home Economics class.” Renee’s first job was with a school portrait company. “I applied because I thought it might be fun. I loved it and learned all about digital photography. Eight years later I started my own photography business, Affordable Choice Photography. Renee has different plans for future jobs. “I have always loved writing, and I’m working on several projects currently. I want to be an inspiration to other people, but I haven’t figured out how.” Now Renee has a full-time job at Environmental Services at Baptist Hospital. “I love my work,” Renee says. “I have been at Baptist since October 2012. It was the 17th job I applied for after four months of unemployment. Before that I was the Assistant Executive Housekeeper at the Residents Inn Marriott, but I left that job in order to care for my ailing mother. She says her high point of her time at Our House has been “gaining the respect of staff and residents, feeling like a valued member of the community here.” She has seen some unhappy times here, too. “It makes me sad when people miss the opportunities available to them at Our House, when people leave before meeting their potential in the program.” Renee participates in a lot of Our House activities. “One wonderful event was a dinner over the holidays when the servers and their children played classical music on their own instruments. It was soothing and very special.”

Little Rock Christian Academy The Kindergarten through 5th grade students dedicated an entire week to collecting paper products for Our House as part of their Community Service Week. Each day the students focused on a different item, collecting a total of 537 boxes of Kleenex, 1,485 rolls of toilet tissue, 610 rolls of paper towels, 204 packages of printer paper, & 801 folders! These donations will help us keep our common areas stocked with needed supplies that we use daily throughout the entire year.

Arkansas Baptist High School Jennifer Byrd & eleven of her students came for part of their Mission Week. They sanded & painted our picnic tables, painted our fire hydrants, gardened, & played games with our kids in Little Learners & Our Club.

Dr. Richard Elimon Dr. Elimon filled a long-time need for Our House. We had been trying to raise funds for an AED, which could save a life if a heart attack happens on our campus. We managed to find funding for half the cost of the machine, but only if we had a doctor’s prescription for it. Dr. Elimon provided the prescription, & then he donated the money to pay the entire cost of the machine!

Mary Ann & Andrew Hiegel Our maintenance staff was excited to receive the Hiegels’ donation of a barely-used 1986 John Deere lawn tractor in excellent mechanical condition. It is perfect for maintaining our campus’s lawn care & landscaping needs.

Little Rock Church Chad Nall & members of the Little Rock Church came for spring break. They prepared & served lunch for Little Learners & Our Club, & they donated cement to help repost some of our wooden lawn guards.

Students Today Leaders Forever, University of Northern Iowa Thirty-nine students raised funds for Little Learners & Our Club. They served lunch, played with the kids, & helped organize donations.

North Little Rock Beta Club The students helped meet our needs with an amazingly successful breakfast drive in March. They collected over 300 boxes of cereal, granola bars, oatmeal, & other breakfast foods, which filled their trophy case to the brim and spilled out into the hallway. The items collected in this drive will go a long way toward keeping our residents full as they head out to work & school.

Individuals Twylla & Drew Alexander Sonya & Arthur Anderson Anonymous Donor Amy & Hamlin Au Miranda Burchfield Baker Kathy & David Bauman Lisa Chrzanowski Amanda & Joel DiPippa Sherrie Dodson Jami Eaves Marilyn & Bill Fiser Sarah Floyd Tanya & Brian Giles Henry Gubbins Rosemary Hallmark Julia & Lyle Heim Lesa Holloway Sarah & Theodore Hood Lance King Robin Lake Derick Malone Beth McHenry Jackie Murphy M.J. & Dan Orellano PWC Sherry Quick Evelyn Rose Guy Sallis Lori & Chris Schaffhauser Rebecca Sims Deborah & Ronald Starling Janna C. & Matthew L. Toland Jeffrey Trowbridge Bridget & Andrew Upchurch R.A. Walker John White Terrie Wilkerson Corporations Dillon Group Snyder Environmental Organizations Little Rock Christian Academy

Congregations Christ the King Catholic Church Church of the Immaculate Conception First United Methodist Church of Bryant Our Lady of Holy Souls Catholic Church St. Anne Catholic Church St. James United Methodist Church Government AR DHS: AmeriCorps AR Special Nutrition Program City of Little Rock: CDBG HUD: Supportive Housing HUD: Transitions Pulaski County Capital Donations Wallis Blair Allen Anonymous Donor AR Comm. Foundation Brandi & David Bengtson Jessica & Todd Brogdon Judith & Edward Cecil David Choate Connie Fails & Les Singer Rita & Wayne Gruber Marsha & James Guffey Betti & Lynn Hamilton Hamlin Dispute Resolution, LLC Julia & Lyle Heim Shauna & Dr. Bob Hopkins Holly & Matthew House J.W. Benafield Charitable Foundation Johnson & Vines, PLLC Pat & John Lile Barbara Graves & Barry McDaniel Gayle & Harry Morton Kathy & Earl Ramsey Becca Robnett-Sandoval Mary Morrison Shue Dawne & Matt Vandiver Janna & Bart Virden Jessica Virden Angel & Drew Weber

Individuals Anonymous Donor Linda & Jerry Arrington Amy & Hamlin Au Lindsey Carter Miles Chism Susan & Chuck Goldner Rosemary Hallmark Kenneth W. Harp Jon Michael Haslauer Julia & Lyle Heim Sarah & Theodore Hood Susan Hunter Lois & Carl Latting Derick Malone Margaret Downey Cathy & Michael Moran M.J. & Dan Orellano Patricia Quinn Evelyn Rose Kimberly Strange Bridget & Andrew Upchurch Angel & Drew Weber Congregations Cathedral of St. Andrew Christ The King Catholic Church Church of the Immaculate Conception Our Lady of Holy Souls Catholic Church Second Presbyterian Church St. Anne Catholic Church St. James United Methodist Church St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Corporations Vestcom Government AR DHS: AmeriCorps AR Special Nutrition Program Other Grants Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance Share Our Strength Heart Of Arkansas United Way

Capital Donations Philip Anderson Anonymous Donor Miranda & Phillip Baker T.A. & D.J. Baker Kimberly & Raymond Battle Lauren & Beau Blair Nancy Blair Elizabeth Blass Carolyn & George Booker Susan & Lee Bowman Del Boyette Elizabeth Brandon Rene E. Bressinck Mrs. & Dr. Richard Bronfman Susan & Nick Brown Frances & Sam Buchanan Sandra & Robert Bunn Kelly Caldwell Lyda & James Campbell Catlett Tower Partnership Graham Catlett Martha & Ronald Clark Carolynn Coleman Sarah & Timothy Cook Sharon & Richard Coote Frances & Wayne Cranford Robert G. Cress Patty & Harry Criner Lisa & Charles Crook Virginia Flynn & Joe Crow Victoria Danna Renay & David Dean Suzanne Delao Nancy Dickins Mary Lynn Dudley Kelly & Joseph Eichler Susan Elder Mary & David Eusanio Cindy & Greg Feltus Bonnie & Robert Fincher Martha & Oliver Flynn Marion Fulk Tammy & Edward Funderburg Marjorie & John Gill Lindsay Gillham

Capital Donations, cont. Melinda Glasgow Michelle & Joseph Graham Priscilla Green Debbie Grooms Jack Grundfest Linda & James Kent Hardy Julie Harris Fred Harrison Gay Hathaway Anne Hickman Laura Hornor Abigail Howe Taylor Hubbard Mary Sue Jacobs Amy & David Johnson Paula & Lee Johnson W. Wilson Jones Nell & Robert Lyford Diane S. Mackey John Mallory Jr. John Mallory MD Susan & Ronald May Patricia & James McClelland Meredith McNeil Sheila Mehaffy Jo & Presley Melton Blanche & Beadle Moore Ginger Murry Barbara Nowlin Denise & Shannon Palmer Melissa & Denver Peacock Linda & Gene Pfeifer Beth & Charlie Porter Marilynn & Robert Porter Carol Pratt Lisa & David Rapp Riggs Benevolent Fund Cathey & Kenneth Robbins Roller Funeral Homes Nancy Rousseau Maureen & Felice Ruggiero Billie & Skip Rutherford Salut at Prospect Place Vicki & Mark Saviers Martha & Michael Schaufele Stuart Schild Shirley J. Schuette Luanne & Robert Seay Rebeca & Gary Smith Judith Snowden

Shannon Spencer Rebecca Spohn Joan & Noel Strauss Shirley Strauss Elizabeth & Van Tilbury Elisabeth & Harvey Walker Millie Ward & Larry Stone James Warren

Angel & Drew Weber Wharf Restaurant Mike White Windgate Charitable Foundation Elizabeth & William Woodyard Dan Young

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March & April 2013  

Our House E-Newsletter March & April 2013

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