“I wanted to be involved with an organization that truly treated women with dignity and respect and I think that EGH does that better than other places.” Teresa

A couple of years after retiring from her job at DSHS, Teresa Rich-Mackenzie read an article in the newspaper about homelessness that mentioned Elizabeth Gregory Home (EGH). She had worked with homeless populations throughout her career, helping individuals navigate the federal disability programs. She decided to put those skills to good use by becoming a volunteer at EGH.

“I remember the first time Teresa walked into our day center. She said she wanted to make cookies for the ladies,” said Michele Martin, EGH Operations Manager. “As soon as I heard her talking about the benefits work she did with DSHS clients, I knew we had to snag her!”

Teresa volunteered for three years, assisting our day center participants and transitional housing residents with seeking and applying for social service benefits. “I felt really useful helping the women,” said Teresa. “I could see the results firsthand.”

During this time, Teresa was also invited to join Elizabeth Gregory Home’s Board of Directors. She served for two years, part of which was helping the organization through an executive leadership transition “I knew Ruth from back when our children were in Northwest Choirs together. I recommended her initially for doing organizational development consulting work in 2011. After she did that for six months, the hiring committee chose to offer her the full-time director position in 2012.” Then with a twinkle in her eye, Teresa said, “I like to claim that I’m the reason Ruth Herold is the Executive Director today!”

“The reason I got so involved at Elizabeth Gregory Home over the past five years is because of the mission,” said Teresa. “It’s so important that we provide a place where women who are so vulnerable can feel safe.”

Teresa continues to serve on the EGH Advisory Council, and is also proud to be a donor. “When I talk to my friends about getting involved with Elizabeth Gregory Home, I acknowledge how overwhelming it can feel when they see homelessness all over the city. But I remind them how they can have a positive impact. It’s done one person at a time, and EGH is a great way to do that, whether by contributing time, talent and, yes, money.”

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