FOLLOWUP: Pigeon Point hate-crime victim says ‘positive response has been so much greater than negative’

By Linda Ball
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Bad things can happen to good people.

It’s true in the case of Stephanie Endres, a Pigeon Point resident and victim of a hate crime first reported here hours after it happened – a racist, threatening note left outside her home on July 26.

With one week to go until the September 24th Hate Free Delridge event – organized as a community response to the hate crime – we sought out Endres to find out how she is doing and what she has heard about whether the crime will be solved.

Endres, 30, is a homeless-outreach case manager with the Low Income Housing Institute, in addition to running her own nonprofit organization, Stephanie’s Lifeline, which also helps people experiencing homelessness. Add to that, she just obtained her master’s degree in nonprofit management, adding to her bachelor’s degree in social work. She’s a positive force to be reckoned with, who gives and gives and gives and gives. Not to mention, the mother of two mixed-race children, and the first person in her family to reach this level of higher education.

A Seattle native, Endres and her children, Terrina, 5, and Jameson, 4, live with her father in the house she grew up in. The day she came home from work and found the note, she said it was just lying on the porch. She thought it was trash.

“I thought it was weird, someone else’s,” she said. She was trying to figure out what it was all about. She showed it to her boyfriend, who is African-American, and it was he who said that this wasn’t normal. She has no enemies, she said, and could not even imagine who would write such a note. That night, she called the police, and an officer from the hate crime unit came out, and took the note. Endres said she didn’t have much confidence in the officer because the officer called her later with additional questions, which Endres feels the officer should have asked while on the scene.

The next morning, Endres had a voice mail, which was just a song repeating the “N” word over and over. She called the number back, and the man who answered the phone had absolutely no idea what she was talking about. Apparently an app is available that inserts a random phone number so as to disguise the actual caller. Endres had posted the hate note on her Facebook page the evening of the crime, and says it was shared more than 5,000 times before Facebook took it down because of the use of the “N” word. But after the phone call, came a private message through Facebook’s messenger service with several derogatory comments.

Once again she called the police. She was told an officer would come out to listen to the voice mail and look at the message. No one came. Endres finally called West Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, and shortly thereafter Endres received a message from a Sgt. Pratt from the hate crime unit. Endres called him back, only to get a voice mail informing her that he was on vacation. The bottom line is that there are no leads and very little follow-up from the police, she says.

No matter. “The positive response has been so much greater than the negative,” she said. People started stopping by with gift baskets and flowers. “A week ago I got a book in the mail from the Columbia City Stroller Brigade, full of notes and pictures from kids (and adults) with well wishes,” she said.

As far as feeling safe, she feels even safer than she did before. Her dad is there, of course, but now her neighbors are looking out after her like mother hens. Endres has dealt with far more serious storms her entire life starting with the death of her mother when she was only 3. By the time she was 16, she lost three of her uncles, one of whom died falling down the outside stairs at the family home. She held his bleeding head until help came, but he didn’t make it. Then, when she was only 28, she suffered a stroke, requiring her to be in ICU, followed by rehabilitation to learn to walk again. She has recovered fully.

“This was just a very eye-opening experience,” she said of the hate crime. “To be targeted at my kids….” she trails off. The kids, by the way, volunteer right along with their mother.

Then there is the Hate Free Delridge group that formed almost immediately after the crime. She said the only one she even remotely knew was Stu Hennessey, because he rides by her home on his bike every day. Hennessey told her about the formation of HFD, and said he felt as though they were talking behind her back. He wanted her to know she was welcome to the group, and she did attend one of their meetings. Again, she felt kind of weird because she didn’t really know any of them, but she knows they mean well. She said she will be at the group’s big debut September 24, and she may speak at the event, although public speaking is not her favorite thing.

Whether she speaks or not, this is a woman who gives “goodie bags” to the homeless, full of toiletries and clothing. Her own fledgling non-profit provided 100 backpacks this year, filled with food, toiletries and clothing, bringing hope to those folks who received them. She and her board have bingo and bowling events to raise money to make it happen.

Yes, bad things happen to good people – and it’s not fair. But Endres hasn’t let this slow her down at all.

11 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Pigeon Point hate-crime victim says 'positive response has been so much greater than negative'"

  • miws September 16, 2016 (9:11 pm)

    Thanks for the update, WSB. 

    So glad to hear that the community has surrounded Stephanie and family with so much love and support. Just hope the police are able to locate the person(s) responsible for all of the hate crime incidents. 

    Stephanie is to be admired not only for overcoming the challenges she has faced throughout her life but also for the fact of her care and compassion for others. 


  • Chris D. September 17, 2016 (12:35 am)

    What a beautiful family. That letter WAS trash.

  • Gina September 17, 2016 (6:44 am)

    Not on topic, but where was the photo take? Local shop? Looks like an assortment of books and games I would like to browse giving.

    Hope that Stephanie can find the strength to continue with the “Seattle Process” for going through official channels.

    • Que September 17, 2016 (9:11 am)

      Looks like the inside of Uptown Espresso on Delridge.  They have a big tabletop gaming selection there.  

  • JoB September 17, 2016 (8:12 am)

    I am so glad to see the community turning this around

  • jissy September 17, 2016 (8:16 am)

    Gina:  that is at Uptown Espresso on Delridge, they have a great game area as well.

  • Chas Redmond September 17, 2016 (8:29 am)

    Looks like Uptown Espresso Delridge with the game shelves in background.  Tracxy could confirm.

  • Paul September 17, 2016 (9:37 am)

    Ms. Endres sounds like an amazing person. Sorry this happened to her. Best wishes in the future.

  • D-Mom September 17, 2016 (9:13 pm)

    Glad the community reached out the way they did. Would be nice if the police took this more seriously. Sounds like they were a bit lax. 

  • why no cops? September 18, 2016 (10:37 am)

    Does anyone else think it’s inappropriate for Seattle Police to be ignoring this situation? They are really off their game. Crime is pretty rampant, and this seems like an opportunity to nail someone with very poor self-control. How far away is this person from a racially-motivated assault or worse? We won’t know because SPD can’t care enough to follow up.

  • jody dahl September 19, 2016 (3:02 pm)

     Stephanie Endres; Girl you still rock. I admire you so, so very much !

    I love the way you keep the faith that the lord is always first and he will not let us down !!

                                                   Amen -Love always wins 

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