Matthew House is an organization dedicated to assisting children and the families of people incarcerated in Washington’s prisons. When a man is convicted of a crime and sentenced to prison, society often breathes a sigh of relief and says “good riddance.” Left behind, though, are the wives and children. They are left to face increased responsibilities on reduced incomes. They are often abandoned by family for being married to a prisoner. Children are relentlessly teased at school for having a dad/mom in prison. These are the lonely, forgotten lives in the criminal justice system.
Matthew House exists to assist children and their families with a clothing closet, a food pantry, shelter in our three apartments, transportation to various prisons throughout the State, childcare and adult counseling. Studies prove that inmates who are locked up and forgotten are likely to reoffend when they are released. But those who receive visits and are released to supportive families have a much better chance of living a crime free life.
MONROE — Unemployed and homeless, Shirley Lidel, 73, was desperate to find housing near the Monroe Correctional Complex, where her husband, Michael Lidel, had been incarcerated.
Commuting from Federal Way every week with a neck injury took a toll on her. She had looked for affordable housing near the prison but to no avail. As she waited to visit her husband Michael at the prison, she asked the other women visiting loved ones if they knew of any place to stay. They had no affordable answers.
Thankfully, a guard at the prison had heard her distressed conversation with the other women. The guard ushered her away and instructed her to go to a house down the hill. A lady will be waiting for her with a room.
Matthew House is a private, non-profit organization that receives periodic assistance from organizations and churches. But the majority of its budget comes from private citizens like you.
Matthew House / Simon of Cyrene is a non-profit 501(c) (3). All contributions are tax deductible.
In 1979 Father Richard Stohr was appointed a Chaplain at Washington State Reformatory. He saw a great need of the families and loved ones of the incarcerated. After visiting hospitality house in San Quentin, California. Richard Stohr returned to Washington and with the help of various organizations, churches and individuals they opened Matthew 25: 36 House of hospitality.
In 1980 Matthew House, which was built in 1912, was purchased
for $55,000 with the help of 104 individual donors, plus gifts from
many various denominations, as well as organizations.
Matthew House was incorporated with the State of
Washington in 1981 as a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization.
Matthew House / The Simon of Cyrene Society is a non-profit corporation in the state of Washington. It is named for Simon, the Cyrene who helped a prisoner by the name of, Jesus, carry his cross.
Founded in 1980, they have helped thousands of women and children of the incarcerated with food, clothing, transportation, love, support and hope.
Although not part of the Department of Corrections, the Department of Corrections strongly encourages this service to families, recognizing the great importance of family support to the incarcerated.
Linda and her small staff do a great job of servicing the families that come to visit. When visiting, occasionally, it’s nice to see the Sunny bright smiles on our younger generation who stay there while one of their parents go to visit another.
Linda is a very nice person with a big heart. She helps out even if you just need a warm place to sit awhile before going to visit. She treats everyone like family. She’ll offer a snack or a warm cup of soup and makes you feel at home. She is great with all the kids and sometimes slips them a toy or two before heading out the door. The clothing closet helps with those who don’t quite know the rules of what type of clothing you are required to wear while visiting. She has sizes for big and small people. Having the Matthew House open is a great asset to all visitors weather you are a first timer or a veteran , it’s a great place to have. Momma Pay and her helpers make it a nice rest stop before heading to your visit.
I was here providing a service for this business so I did not actually use their services but for the multiple days I spent here working you get an appreciation for what they do and without a doubt know that these people really care not just about what they do but about people in general and this is very apparent by all the present and past clients just stopping by to say hi and to catch up.
This is especially useful for those who cannot stay in a hotel when traveling to see family that is incarcerated. Not sure who thought of the idea but I am grateful. Nice and clean.