2022 in numbers

By Michelle Hines

SPiN Café saw another year of tremendous growth in 2022.  This is both good news and challenging.   The good news is that our community, including our supporters, community churches and funders, has become more and more involved with SPiN Café.  The challenge is that we are seeing increasing numbers of homeless and low-income (working poor) individuals in our community.

Here are our guest numbers for the past three years:

SPiN guest numbers continue to increase –
indicating growing need in our community.
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Tulalip Cares celebration includes SPiN

Spin Cafe is grateful for grant funding from the Tulalip Tribes, through their Tulalip Cares Charitable Fund.

Tulalip Cares invites the groups they support to be honored at the Raising Hands celebration at the Tulalip Tribes Casino Center. It is tribal tradition to raise hands to applaud and give thanks to those who have given to the community. Since 1993, Tulalip Cares has donated $69.5 million to more than 400 charitable organizations.

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SPiN awarded 3-year, $635,000 grant

“Great news from SPiN Café,” the email began. That’s always worth an immediate look.

And great news it was.

SPiN Cafe changes lives.

SPiN Café Executive Director Michele Hines announced on February 5 to our partner churches that SPiN has been awarded a three-year grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) totaling just over $635,000. The grant is renewable annually after three years.

The funds will allow SPiN to lease our own location where we can serve our guests 7 days a week. We have not identified the place yet, but we’re searching for one that will allow laundry services and showers too, under one roof, fulfilling a vision that was born when SPiN was founded 11 years ago.

Our local Whidbey News Times covered the story on Wednesday, February 8.

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A day at SPiN Cafe

Have you ever wondered what we do here at Spin Cafe?  What does Serving People in Need mean? 

Upon opening at 6:30AM, people have started arriving by van from the Haven, with some folks already waiting on the porch for us to open the door.  The morning staff person already has coffee ready, hot water on for tea or oatmeal, and cereal out for breakfast.  There is a constant stream of people getting settled at their tables, washing up, and having breakfast.  It is a busy time of the day for us.

A calm place, where humanity and dignity are respected, brings welcome relief.

By about 8:30, plans have been made for the day and many guests go about their business by catching the Island Transit or walking to Safeway, Walmart, Walgreens, the Garage of Blessings or other locations.  Someone hops on a computer to check their email, social media or to look for information.  At some point someone picks out a movie to watch.

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Bright notes! …and challenges

Treasurer’s report by Tom Saunders, SPiN Treasurer

The Board of Directors of SPiN Cafe are proud to say that we have a very strong balance sheet and have increased our budget from approximately $100,000 in 2021 to over $250,000 in 2022 which has allowed us to provide services to our guests that surpass our pre-pandemic levels.

This increase in services — we now open our day center 11 hours M-F, serve lunches on weekends, and employ an Executive Director and other paid staff, all while facing inflation in costs of serving our guests — has challenged us to find new financial resources. To date, we have met this financial challenge as a result of individual donations and public grants made available from the America Rescue Plan (ARPA). Our service levels today are also a result of great cooperation between SPiN and Island County Human Services as well as many other nonprofit local organizations. We are pleased with the direction we are heading and the support we currently have in our community.

We greatly appreciate our local donors and we continue to need your support more than ever.

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