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kids pose with their new backpacks from NAOMI

Charity Spotlight: NAOMI Community

NAOMI Frees Local Families from Isolation and Poverty

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NAOMI Community (formerly Hearth Homes) in Spokane Valley, Washington, actively pursues their vision of being a “community where every family is free from isolation and poverty.” This passion aligns beautifully with our philanthropic vision of giving freedom to those without hope through our partnership with organizations that are fighting to eliminate poverty and injustice both locally and worldwide.

Mark Michaelis, IntelliTect’s CEO, met the executive director of NAOMI in January of 2011 after he finished a presentation at the Spokane Community College. In a follow-up conversation, the executive director provided an overview of how NAOMI was providing housing in Spokane to homeless women and their children.

Mom and baby girl pose at NAOMI

NAOMI families enjoy the annual Back To School BBQ and the opportunity to get family portraits from Mark Michaelis.

  • Mom and son pose at NAOMI
  • Mom and three kids pose at NAOMI

In addition to IntelliTect’s financial commitment over the years, Mark has served on NAOMI’s board of directors and volunteered for various workdays, including occasionally assisting as their resident photographer at several events. Lastly, and perhaps where he provides the most support, is as an advisor to the executive director. They meet one to two times per month and discuss the various challenges that NAOMI may be facing.

“There is great value in partnering with an organization that focuses on fighting homelessness and poverty, but at least in the US, homelessness and poverty are frequently symptoms rather than causes,” Mark said. “Something I appreciate about NAOMI is that they dig deeper than those symptoms, focusing in addition on the causes – such as isolation and loneliness – in an attempt to break the cycle of generational poverty.”

NAOMI was founded by Karen Fournier who took homeless women into her own home and gave them the tools they needed to start over. Karen’s vision grew and turned into Hearth Homes, a transitional home in Spokane Valley. Now, it’s a community of recovery overseen for the past seven years by NAOMI’s executive director, Angela Slabaugh.

“Isolation tears people apart and breaks down families,” Angela said. “A safe community can heal by allowing authentic, safe relationships to build so that you can be known.”

IntelliTect’s Partnership Award

IntelliTect founders, Mark and Elisabeth were recently honored to receive a partnership award from NAOMI for their partnership and assistance over the past decade.

IntelliTect founders, Mark and Elisabeth pose with NAOMI’s executive director, Angela Slabaugh and her daughter after they received IntelliTect’s partnership award this past June. The award reads, “Thank you, Intellitect, for transforming lives in Spokane Valley through your partnership!”

During the presentation, Angela said, “Mark and Elisabeth have represented IntelliTect and supported countless women and children through NAOMI, not just to provide them roofs over their heads but a place where they can actually heal and break generational cycles of abuse and trauma and just experience what life could be like outside of those things.”

How to Help

NAOMI is always looking for individual volunteers to help with various things from childcare to landscaping or businesses that can provide needed services like carpet cleaning, plumbing, maintenance, etc. Monetary donations and specific sponsorships are also greatly appreciated.

To get involved, email or call their office at (509) 926-6492.

Written by Erin Wissing.

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