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Sparrow's Nest marks 10 years of helping homeless teens

by Linda Kaps
| August 30, 2023 12:00 AM

Ten years ago this summer, I found myself sitting in a meeting at United Way discussing the issue of homelessness among our teen population here in Flathead County. Maricia Bumke, the stakeholder, had organized and called together interested people.

As a result of the meeting and hundreds of hours of work, wonderful, gracious people who opened their hearts, minds and pocket books, Sparrow’s Nest of Northwest Montana was born. With an excellent staff of nine, an amazing executive director, a house that can accommodate eight full time residents, I felt it imperative to thank our amazing community for their generosity as our board recognizes the ten year anniversary of the founding of Sparrow’s Nest.

To date SNNWMT has housed over 50 students many of whom have graduated high school and successfully transitioned into adulthood. Some are in college, some have joined the military and some have entered the workforce including a couple of former residents working for us or other non profits that impact homelessness. We have been truly blessed to see the success of so many of our residents. We are proud of the fact that we are a proactive organization helping out homeless teens before they become entrenched in the cycle of homelessness as adults. What started out as a small group of women with a big, big dream, has become a respected and solid entity devoted to housing homeless teens. With the huge surge of homeless people in our valley, we are grateful to be able to help those teens that are sent our way. Our nonprofit relies solely on grants and donations which makes fund raising very difficult and each success that much more gratifying.

As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, we look forward to two major fundraising campaigns, The Great Fish Community Challenge hosted by the Whitefish Community Foundation and our annual sleep out When the Night Comes. The Great Fish Community Challenge officially begins August 10 and lasts until September 15. We have tentatively set our sleep out for December 1. Please check our website, www.sparrow’snestnwmt.org, for additional information and details.

To all our donors, we, the board of Sparrow’s Nest, wish to extend our heartfelt thanks, appreciation and gratitude for everything everyone has done to help our homeless teens find new opportunities for success and happiness. Happy 10th Anniversary Sparrow’s Nest and many, many thanks to the greater Flathead Valley and beyond for all your support!

Linda Kaps is board chair and founding member of Sparrow’s Nest NWMT.