After a lengthy study of the most critical social needs in the University District, University Lutheran Church voted overwhelmingly to address housing for homeless women. On February 1, 2001, the congregation approved the concepts for transitional housing and voted to create a separate, non-profit board to oversee the establishment of Elizabeth Gregory Home. Non-profit incorporation was completed later that year. Elizabeth Gregory Home is a long-term investment in the women whom we will welcome; we hope it will serve as a model program that can be replicated at additional sites in the future.
The board of directors voted to name the program Elizabeth Gregory Home, after a very special woman who dedicated her life to working with underserved and vulnerable populations.
EGH board member Frank Gregory shares fond memories of this inspirational woman, "I met Elizabeth, a single mother, in 1971 as we were both enrolled in computer programming classes. She was forced to withdraw from school after losing her job. She eventually found other employment but survived in the interim on unemployment and food stamps. This was a blow to her self-esteem and eventually to her health, as she felt first hand the sting of life as a struggling woman. I finished school in 1974 and we were married that same year. In 1978 she returned to school to finish her education, receiving an undergraduate in communications and her Master in Social Work at the University of Washington. It was during her practicum at Children's Hospital of Seattle that she fell in love with one-on-one counseling with the disenfranchised and those affected by trauma and loss. These one-on-one encounters led to her sharing a private practice until her health forced her to retire prematurely in 1990. Elizabeth had the most infectious laugh; she loved playing practical jokes, was a big sports fan, a film noir buff, and made friends easily. However, integrity was a requirement if you wished to remain a friend. When Elizabeth died she left me a gift that I will never lose; death is not the end of our journey."
It is our wish the women served at Elizabeth Gregory Home will find that same indomitable spirit and joy for life that Elizabeth left as her legacy.