POULSBO — More lead donors are coming forward to support and help launch the Morrow Manor project’s Campaign for Brighter Tomorrows.
The campaign, under the direction of the non-profit Poulsbo-North Kitsap Rotary Foundation, aims to raise $2.1 million to construct much-needed longer-term supportive housing for survivors of domestic violence.
In October, the C. Keith Birkenfeld Memorial Trust announced its commitment to support the Morrow Manor project with a lead gift of $500,000.
Tim Ryan Properties of Poulsbo also pledged a total of $100,000 as a challenge gift to match any funds raised after September 2015. Dan Ryan is an active Poulsbo Rotarian and the son of Tim Ryan Construction company founder Tim Ryan.
“We wanted to step forward and show our support for this healing and empowering project in our region,” Dan said.
“My family and I have been inspired by the determined partnership work of Poulsbo Rotary and the YWCA of Kitsap County, as well as the leadership of Poulsbo’s own Ardis Morrow in helping domestic violence victims become enduring survivors.”
The estate of Sandra Boro Hill has gifted an undisclosed amount to Morrow Manor. “Helping families in need succeed is in line with our own family values,” said A.J. Hill, whose father, Fred “Bunker” Hill, was a Poulsbo Rotarian. “Morrow Manor will be a vital addition to the regional community and we’re proud to support the project.”
The Morrow Manor project is a collaboration between the Poulsbo-North Kitsap Rotary Club and the YWCA of Kitsap County to build eight units of affordable, longer-term supportive housing in Poulsbo for survivors of domestic violence. For nearly 20 years, the two organizations have worked together to ensure services effectively exist for domestic violence victims and survivors, and this joint effort is a significant expansion of those services.
Morrow Manor will triple the YWCA’s housing portfolio within Kitsap County, where one in four women have experienced domestic violence, and there is an urgent need for housing where survivors can rebuild their lives.
Morrow Manor is named in honor of 90-year-old Poulsbo Rotarian Ardis Morrow, who took a stand against domestic violence when her grandnephew, Eli Creekmore, was killed at age 3 by his father in 1986. Morrow has since been an advocate for change in statewide domestic violence laws and services in the county.
Morrow is also a former North Kitsap School Board member and former Port of Kingston commissioner.
Rotarian Rand Hillier will be a neighbor of the 2.4-acre project on Noll Road in Poulsbo, and he believes it will be a wonderful addition to the neighborhood.
“Imagine four new buildings that may house up to eight families in this peaceful place, with an adjacent 1.4-acre public park for all to enjoy,” he said.
“It is convenient to public transportation, schools, and shopping, and it will serve survivors and their children from all over Kitsap County for generations to come.”
The YWCA of Kitsap County reports that it had to turn away 1,544 women and children last year because of lack of shelter and housing solutions.
“Sadly, choosing to leave an abuser often means choosing homelessness,” said Denise Frey, executive director of the YWCA of Kitsap County. “Stable, affordable housing such as Morrow Manor is a game-changer as we strengthen survivors’ pathways to brighter futures.”
Through its foundation, Poulsbo Rotary is raising the funds for Morrow Manor’s construction, and will deed the property debt-free to the YWCA of Kitsap County. The City of Poulsbo will fund, develop and maintain the adjacent public park. While the start of construction is subject to the progress of the campaign, ground-breaking is expected to begin in summer 2016.
To date, the Campaign for Brighter Tomorrows has raised $1.2 million of its $2.1 million goal.
SupportMorrowManor.org will share campaign news, project details, and giving opportunities. Contact with the campaign can also be made through email@example.com.
‘Longer-term supportive housing’
“The Morrow Manor model is a local variation on the HomePlus model initiated by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and which has proven successful on a national level,” said Rick Darrow, local Rotarian and co-chairman of the Capital Campaign Committee.
“We know that by doing longer-term supportive housing in this way as a complement to shorter-term ‘transitional’ and emergency housing, we’re creating sustainable and ongoing avenues to help many survivors get a fresh start on life, and break the painful cycle of abuse for the adults and so often the children that are involved.”
In the “supportive housing” model of Morrow Manor, residents can stay on a sliding scale of affordable rents for up to six years. The YWCA of Kitsap County will provide ongoing advocacy and other support services to help survivors build sustainable futures with access and avenues to education and careers.
By comparison, the average stay at the YWCA’s 17-bed ALIVE shelter is 65 days. Stays in the four family units of Eli’s Place and Tersha’s House average up to 24 months.