Compassion House began in 1998 through the vision of Pastor Mark Miller and the support of his church, Mountain Creek Christian Fellowship. In response to the neediness of families in the Issaquah area struggling under financial burdens and traumatic personal circumstances, Compassion House was born. Providing transitional housing as well as offering physical, emotional, and spiritual support, Compassion House volunteers seek to come alongside these families in distress.
Initially, Compassion House was able to serve one family at a time, using a house literally borrowed from a developer who would later redevelop the land it was on. We similarly were able to rent a city-owned house on land that would later be developed as a park. But borrowed homes come and go, unpredictably.
In 2004 the City of Issaquah made available to Compassion House a vacant house on land it owned, provided that we move it off that site and save them the cost of demolition. Unexpectedly, a generous person heard of this need and spontaneously donated two building lots, just a few blocks away. The old house was towed to the new lot, and renovations began. [Insert link to article in the Issaquah Press about this move.] But meeting the demands of modern building codes complicated the task beyond the means of our volunteer crews. Then numerous contractor members of the King County Master Builders Care Foundation and HomeAid came forward to finish the remodeling as their service project for the year. Our new campus was born.
By 2010, a new duplex was also erected on the adjacent second lot. This was also accomplished largely with donated services of the Master Builders. This group of contractors have hearts of gold. Compassion House now operates three three-bedroom units on a campus of its own, with only a small mortgage of about 10% of the total property value.
Since 2010, Compassion House has been providing housing and compassionate support to three distressed families at a time. We keenly feel the hand of divine providence in the way this came about, orchestrating many people to make significant contributions, each in their way, and all combining to a marvelous result.
A unique aspect of Compassion House is its cooperation with the City of Issaquah. The City identified the shortage of low income housing as a number one immediate challenge, and Compassion House's goal of helping people recover from the need for public aid lessens this burden of the City. The City has leased or sold two homes to Compassion House for modest fees, and supported the work of Compassion House through annual community grants in its budget.
Working relationships with the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank, the local Kiwanis Club, Elks Club, and other service groups help to make the goals of Compassion House achievable.
A large number of volunteers from several churches in the community work together to make the Compassion House program a working reality.
Compassion House is incorporated as a 501c3 non-profit charitable organization, run by a Board of Directors comprised of both church members and local leaders.