When former music teacher Pat Gray decided to retire, she imagined a life of leisure. Instead, Pat heard a different calling from her local community in Kent and it resulted in a Life Reimagined.
Pat started KentHOPE, a day shelter for homeless women and their children. The facility hosts an average of 30 women and children each day and offers three substantial meals a day, showers, laundry facilities, clothing, computers with internet access, health care, life skills classes, advocacy and hope.
“It's a thing I never imagined doing," says Pat. "It seemed like retirement was a time to kick back, but it hasn't been that."
Pat’s now on a mission to end homelessness in her area and she's doing something about it. She enlisted the help of the Union Gospel Mission, neighborhood churches, and a team of volunteers. Today, KentHOPE is making a real difference for the families that come there.
“They feel safe here,” Pat explains. “But they also feel welcomed and valued.”
For Pat, it's changed her life.
“How can you not feel good about what you are doing when you have this kind of feedback day in and day out. It stirs my heart,” says Pat.
For more information about KentHOPE, click here. And to learn more about AARP's Life Reimagined, click here. You'll find info on our local program and an online form to share your story.
Watch Pat Gray and KentHOPE profiled on KING5 Evening: