Seattle’s Child is proud to partner with the state Department of Children, Youth and Families Strengthening Families Washington to honor outstanding caregivers doing important work on behalf of children.
All month long, we’ll introduce you to Unsung Heroes from around the state: biological parents, grandparents, foster and adoptive parents. Some volunteer at local schools; some have started nonprofits; some mentor others in their communities. Enjoy their stories.
Jacqueline Speer, Bremerton
I nominate Ms. Jacqueline Speer for this award because I believe she exemplifies the resilience and willingness to connect to her community for support when she and her family found themselves homeless and in need two years ago.
When I met Ms. Speer, she and her five young children were living in a tent. With the help of Kitsap Community Resources, Ms. Speer sustained the family unity, obtaining employment and accessing education and child care for her children while living in a shelter for a year. With the help of the Bremerton Housing Authority Supportive Housing Program, she was then able to improve bad credit, address legal issues and regain her driver’s license. Today, through her hard work and perseverance, the family has secure housing and has maintained independent living for almost a year.
Ms. Speer has done the hard work involved in addressing personal issues including substance use disorder and other behavioral health challenges stemming from past traumas and striving for security and stability for her children and herself. Ms. Speer has built a social foundation with others who are drug- and alcohol-free, and she is committed to a recovery lifestyle in the fullest sense of the word taking care of herself and her children and giving back to the community through her work and example.
Now Ms. Speer is employed in a leadership role at the Salvation Army in Bremerton, She states, “I LOVE MY JOB” and giving back to others. Her family has adopted this way of being as well: Ms. Speer’s eldest son followed in mom’s footsteps this holiday season as a Salvation Army volunteer. While obstacles remain, with Ms. Speer’s courage and leadership, the family has experienced true growth. I have witnessed her efforts with PRIDE and AWE and believe she is indeed an UNSUNG HERO!
Nominator: Cecelia Walker
More Unsung Heroes:
Foster mom inspires with her love and dedication
Ashley Bender is devoted to ECEAP and her child’s education
Sherry Dione pushes for equity while patiently meeting her grandkids’ needs