Out-of-work restaurant server had 3 grandchildren to care for

When the popular Bellevue eatery Lil’ Jon restaurant went up in flames June 13, it was a heartbreaking blow for regulars that frequented the spot, known for its breakfasts.

It was even worse for Issaquah resident and Lil’ Jon server Marita Davidson, who temporarily lost her job, as the restaurant underwent a major rehabilitation.

“It’s been there so long and nothing tragic has ever happened there before, so we were all in shock and devastated by that,” she said. “It was hard to regroup after that with the loss of income.”

Davidson will return to her job in mid-December, when the restaurant is set to reopen after extensive repairs, but it is this kind of sudden, unexpected occurrence, that moves Issaquah Community Services into action.

ICS helped Davidson, who cares for her three young grandchildren, pay for her rent and power bill while she got back on her feet.

“They’re just so wonderful. They make you feel so welcome when you come to them,” Davidson said of the all-volunteer staff.

Davidson said she would always be grateful to ICS for coming into her life at a time when she most needed help.



Distinguished veteran, but no benefits

As a U.S. Army field medic through several Iraq deployments, Joe had repeatedly removed injured soldiers and their body parts after firefights and IED explosions. Rotated home and discharged from active duty, he has been diagnosed with PTSD. Awaiting a decision from the Veteran’s Administration, he receives no benefits.

Unable to sleep free of battlefield memories, Joe was employed as a hospital emergency room aide. But on three occasions while assisting with accident victims, he suffered panic attacks. He was terminated by the hospital “unable to perform.”

Joe is married with three children. The only family income was from his wife’s part-time minimum-wage job without benefits.

He told ICS volunteers on duty that day that he was ashamed to ask for assistance but was facing a utility shutoff. He already owed partial rent for one month and worried about making the next month’s rent payment.

ICS contacted his landlord and learned that prior to losing his job, Joe had always paid his rent on time. ICS paid his back utility bill and negotiated with the landlord for partial rent payments for a couple of months.


Lost boat, lost income, lost home

A Plateau resident lost the family business when the family fishing boat sunk off Alaska last year. All four crew members were rescued but due to the loss of income, their house went into foreclosure. They moved to a less expensive apartment until they were able to regain income and save their house from foreclosure, but had accumulated a large water bill which they could not pay. ICS partnered with Mary Queen of Peace and Hopelink to satisfy the debt and help them move forward.


Dad’s pride gets set aside

A 50-year-old father of two teens came to ICS in tears as he set aside his pride. He said he has always been the provider for his family and could not believe that he was now actually begging for any help ICS could give.

Jake works as a security guard. His wife is a recovering breast cancer survivor and during her recovery she went back to school for her nursing degree on a student grant. The check from the grant funds were delayed and now they couldn’t pay the rent. Could ICS help until the check arrived? Yes.


When a wood stove is not enough to stay warm

An engaged couple, Amanda and Marty, recently relocated to Issaquah from the Randle area for employment. He is a veteran with disabilities and was in the process of being approved for benefits while receiving services for injuries and PTSD. His fiancé was working regularly with Merry Maids, but it was not enough. Their only source of heat was a wood pellet stove but they had no funds for the pellets. ICS paid for pellets from The Grange to be delivered to their home.


Overdue rent and three mouths to feed

A single mom with three children received a 3-day notice to vacate her apartment due to lack of payment. By the time she came to ICS she had a pledge from St. Vincent de Paul, but still needed an additional funds. An ICS volunteer talked to her apartment manager who had received the St. Vincent payment and had accepted another pledge from the Salvation Army.  The remaining amount was due that day. The ICS volunteer personally delivered our check for the balance to the manager, allowing this family to stay sheltered and safe.


Moving forward costs money

The move to a smaller, less expensive apartment was just what this single mom with two children needed. She found and apartment in Issaquah, but her belongings were in storage in Milton. She had paid her rent on the new apartment, but did not have enough to pay the storage rent fee. ICS paid the fee to the storage facility so she could retrieve her belongings and get settled into her new home.


Keeping the heat on

A single man living on social security came to ICS in the middle of winter. He heats his home with diesel but was out of fuel and out of funds. He had purchased fuel from a heating company in the past. An ICS volunteer called The Grange in Issaquah and learned The Grange price was a little better than he had been paying. ICS and the Issaquah Food Bank each provided fuel vouchers, enough to get him through the winter.