Eric Duechle - Co Founder
Hello world, I am Eric Duechle, and a co-founder and the executive director of Seattle Compassion Services. A little about me. I served in the Air Force for 9 ¾ years and two combat tours to Afghanistan and Iraq. I left the Air Force in 2018 and joined the Seattle Seawolves, unlocking two Major League Rugby Championships.
During my second season with the team, my sister and I formed Seattle Compassion Services. We wanted to create an organization that addresses the homelessness crisis facing King County. I first stepped on Seattle soil in 2014, since then, homelessness has grown by an astounding rate of 25% in the past 6 years.
My family has struggled with homelessness, so it’s a personal issue for me. Our mission at Seattle Compassion Services is to move King County homeless into housing within one year of enrolling in the compassion housing pathway, and to spread compassion and understanding about the homelessness crisis facing Washington.
The vision of Seattle Compassion Services is to return homelessness levels in King County below the state of emergency milestone set back in 2015, when we crossed 10,000 living on the streets.
We aspire to be a leader in this crisis. We wish to prevent homelessness, we do that by focusing on what we control. I hope you choose to support us.
“We drink to your coffin. May it be built from the wood of a hundred year old oak tree, that we shall plant tomorrow.” -Irish Proverb
Eric after the 2019 fundraiser.
Christina Duechle - Co Founder
Seventeen was the first time I was homeless. My mother had a mental breakdown and decided to spontaneously move across the country with no plan. Eric was away to college in Colorado and I was alone. Without telling anyone, she pulled me out of school, and we went, nothing was going to keep us. The journey ended with us in a hotel in Los Angeles. Mom was never diagnosed with a mental illness, I believe she was schizophrenic based on her behavior. She tried to kill herself in 1984 and was committed to a hospital. After that experience she didn’t want to go to a doctor.
After settling in Los Angeles, I enrolled to finish my senior year of high school. Our mother, burnt out from overworking and overwhelmed with depression, went bankrupt. The summer before college in 2005, we lived with friends and family. And continued the following summer. These were hard years, and ironically some of my most successful: I had a scholarship to row for LMU, we won the West Coast Conference that year and I was selected to the PAC 10 All-Conference Team. But after those hard years, I forfeit my scholarship and the future I was working towards. My mother was in and out of homelessness until her suicide November 9, 2009. A tragedy that my brother and I fight against in this world today. If an organization like Seattle Compassion had been there for our mom, her dreams and her tearful prayers might have been answered. Imagine what we can do together if we unite and help the less fortunate!
I noticed something different about me, something off in my late teens. Things started to move around in my mind by themselves. I did a little research and discovered schizophrenia, anxiety disorder, and the seriousness of suicidal depression. I told my doctor and got diagnosed schizophrenic at age 20. I didn’t get severely schizophrenic until I had my son Zenith. About 7 months after I had him, I started hearing Jesus talk to me! After 8 years of ups and downs, I got on medication and committed myself to it.
Now I’m working on an associate degree in Fine Arts to be a professional artist. I dream to sell my art. I have a lot of dreams in music, making videos and fashion. I feel that after I got my medication in jail, my life began to start again. I got off the streets, I was in my right mind. I stopped hearing so many voices and hallucinating.
Taking care of the homeless, especially helping the mentally ill the way I was helped is something I want to do with my brother. And right now we are using our own money to support the homeless however we can, and it’s your donation that make further assistance possible. Thank you for your consideration.
Christina sharing her philosophy.