There are resources in Clallam County for Veterans. Our mission is to create a community of 40 tiny houses for homeless Veterans who want to get their lives back on track and to facilitate access to these resources. Allowing those that have placed their lives on the line for our nation, those that served honorably, in peacetime and in war, to be lost in the system is unacceptable. They deserve our respect and we are proud to offer our time and effort to help
Today, we officially entered into escrow for property! It is at 1430 Lauridsen Blvd! It is our biggest challenge, but we know that, with the help of this great community, we can raise the money needed to purchase the property for cash!
We will be having our public Q&A on the 15th, so please come by and say “Hi”! We would love to answer your questions, and look forward to the opportunity to be able to meet you!
THAT will be followed up by our first fundraiser at Bada NW from 6-8! More details will follow on that soon, so stay posted!”
A Tiny Home
Providing privacy, and dignity in no longer being homeless, is one of the first steps in helping improve the lives of those who come to us for help. Designed to be in “clusters” of 4, each home will have its own bath and small kitchen. Hopefully this lets an individual who is used to being on their own to socialize with a few neighbors if they choose to. This is temporary, a hand up – not a hand out.
An important part of Pennies For Quarters is this facility. Space for individual or group therapy, AA meetings, etc is integral in getting residents the help they need. A computer room will give them the chance to learn new skills and apply for jobs and a laundry room and stock room will provide basic needs. We hope to eventually add a larger commissary and mess hall. On the grounds will also be community gardens which have been shown to be therapeutic and will also allow the residents to save on food costs. The lives these men and women led were very different from what they are experiencing now. We hope to give them back the sense of community and belonging that will help them have a happier and healthier existence.
Some of the struggles that homeless veterans face are drug addiction, alcohol abuse and PTSD among other mental or behavioral issues.
This type of onsite counseling will be in addition to financial counseling, medical and dental assistance and even veterinary services.
Does the veteran have their ID or know about any benefits available to him/her?
P4Q staff will know how to help and the collaboration with existing programs in the county has been, and will be, an important joint effort in ending homelessness for veterans.
Founder / President
Matthew Rainwater is the Founder and President of Pennies For Quarters. He saw the need for this non-profit organization because there are almost 50,000 homeless veterans living in the United States. That is 50,000 too many. These are not numbers. These are men and women that have put their lives on the line in order to protect this great country of ours. They deserve to be treated better, and Matthew has vowed to do whatever he can in order to make that happen.
Why does he care so much? It is simple. Matthew spent 8 years serving in the US Army from 1988 to 1996. His dad retired from the US Air Force. Two of his brothers served in the US Air Force. His youngest daughter just finished her enlistment in the US Marines. He has had the privilege of working with some of the finest men and women that he has ever known.
In 1996 he felt that he was at a point in his life where he wanted to spend more time with family, yet still wanted to serve his country. The US Border Patrol is the job that he has had for the last 20 years and Matthew is looking forward to continuing his service for the foreseeable future. By being a Border Patrol Agent he still is able to uphold the oath of defending our great country from all enemies, foreign and domestic. He is able to serve the great people of our country and give back to what he believes is the greatest nation on the Earth.
Born and raised in Minnesota. Moved West and married a military brat in 1997. Her side has military roots. Professionally, Jon has been employed in a variety of positions with corrections, court and social work since 1989 in several different states. Jon got his BS from Minnesota State University and MA from Liberty University in Human Services and Executive Leadership.
He also graduated from seminary with a Doctorate in Biblical Counseling. He is on the Board for a local mental health agency and active member in a Corrections Association, He has lived in Port Angeles from 1994 - 1997 and back again since 2003. He teaches prison reentry and transition classes for Prison Fellowship in a local state prison. His family is also involved in an insurance business.
Personally, he enjoys the NW with all its amenities and outdoor life. He cares about our community and especially those who served in the military so that we can enjoy our freedoms and quality of life. He views P4Q as a great way to give back to our community and those who served our country. Jon believes transitional services to our homeless veterans is crucial in getting their lives back in order and giving them opportunities for a better life. His life motto is: "The older I get, the more important it's becoming to leave my footprint for good in relieving and healing the pain of the afflicted."
Debbie Swanson is a real estate agent, writer and previous business owner. Her past experience is in restaurant and retail management and spans owning a small kiosk to managing multimillion dollar restaurant operations. From her first taste of entrepreneurship in 1989 she found enjoyment and satisfaction in the hospitality industry.
Debbie owned two homemade ice cream & coffee stores in Savannah, GA from 2005 to 2010 which were deeply rooted in the community, and participated in numerous fundraising efforts for schools, churches and charities as well as local festivals. Living in Savannah also provided her first daily military interaction with families and soldiers, being so close to Fort Stewart.
Debbie credits her compassion to having a wonderful family and parents. Sure there are many, many great causes to support. This particular project is so very important because it has the capability to change homeless veteran’s lives for the better. There’s no denying that they deserve that. The chance to make a difference – that’s the goal, the reason. A Port Angeles resident since early 2015, Debbie looks forward to having a positive impact on what could possibly be the entire county…with an Army veteran dad who would be proud.
Currently a Realtor in Sequim, Debbie is also a member of the Port Angeles Business Association and continuously sees the generosity that both of these cities have. Although she has a passion for travel, she is excited to have chosen to live in Clallam County and experience all of the amazing things it has to offer.
Stephanie Hyatt is a local attorney who specializes in criminal law but is also dedicated to working with nonprofit organizations. She was born and grew up in Port Angeles, Washington, and graduated from Port Angeles High School. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics at the University of Washington and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Oregon.
After becoming licensed to practice law in 2014, Stephanie returned to her hometown to open a solo practice. She also serves on the board of the Clallam County Bar Association as the President for 2017, the board of Clallam-Jefferson County Probono Lawyers as the Secretary, and the board of Port Scandalous Roller Derby as the President.
Jerry L. Stewart
Jerry L. Stewart has been and done many things in his life: Actor, producer, writer, designer, comptroller, risk management specialist, financial aid administrator, operations manager, business owner, brother, son, and partner. His interest and involvement with Pennies for Quarters comes from a deep sense of social justice. What is right is right and what is wrong needs to be changed. While he may not be able to solve all the world’s issues he looks forward to making his own small contribution.
Jerry has known many people who, through no fault of their own or due to personal circumstance, have found themselves homeless. The climb back from that situation can be long and arduous and is seldom achieved without a helping hand or hands. Homeless veterans are an under-served minority within the larger homeless population. Our veterans have sacrificed many things for their country and they deserve better.
Jerry’s father, a first generation American, was the youngest crew member on the USS San Carlos during World War II and his brother served in Viet Nam. When Jerry’s brother returned from Viet Nam, he suffered from both PTSD and substance abuse issues. Without the strong support of his family, he could have easily become one of this country’s homeless veterans.
Jerry looks forward to bringing his knowledge to the aid of Pennies for Quarters and Clallam County’s homeless veteran population.
In the News
Here are several news articles about our projects:
Pennies For Quarters In Escrow For Site – KONP News, March 27, 2017
Pennies for Quarters finds property for tiny homes community to help vets – Peninsula Daily News, March 27, 2017
$10,000 donation to help start Pennies for Quarters’ tiny houses plan for veterans – Peninsula Daily News, Dec. 30, 2016
Pennies For Quarters Receives Substantial Donation – KONP News, Dec. 27, 2016
$10,000 gift kickstarts houses for homeless veterans – King 5 News, Dec. 26, 2016
PABA Hosts Veterans Housing Group – KONP News, Nov. 22, 2016
Pennies for Quarters seeks to build tiny houses for homeless veterans – Peninsula Daily News, Nov. 16, 2016