This year, we begin a new series titled 4Questions4. It’s a way to get to know the people and places that make up PenLight’s great community. We kick off this series by featuring Jud Morris, director of the Children’s Home Society of Washington office on the Key Peninsula. We hope you enjoy learning more about those who help many participants of PenLight’s Project Help program.
When and why did Children’s Home Society of Washington open a branch in our community?
We opened in 1995, after a thorough assessment that identified Key Peninsula as a community with many needs and limited resources to serve them.
What has changed and what remains the same from that first year?
During the past 20 years, we’ve seen a lot of changes here. From the perspective of our organization, what has been the biggest change is our expansion to also serve Gig Harbor. It happened because of crises like mental health, poverty, homelessness and also the opioid epidemic where grandparents (on fixed incomes) are now raising their grandchildren. Sadly, these things don’t follow community borders. What has not changed is the financial need of these families for health care, food and transportation. Thankfully, what also hasn’t changed is that Key Peninsula and Gig Harbor are very strong, giving and sharing communities.
What does Project Help do for those served by CHS?
PenLight’s Project Help assists with winter heating bills for those in need. It helps us ensure our neighbors don’t have to choose whether they will buy food or heat their homes. It shouldn’t have to be a choice.
What is your vision for the future of Children’s Home Society of Washington in our community and beyond?
My 2018 vision for Children’s Home Society of Washington is we can continue to help families survive until their income permits them to be self-sufficient. My future vision for Key Peninsula and Gig Harbor families served by CHS is that they will not just survive, but will thrive. They will be successful and be able to pay back much of the community’s generosity. It’s something they so much would like to do.