This month we celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 14. At Bellevue LifeSpring, our staff has the opportunity to provide a listening ear and support to hundreds of Bellevue moms. We hear their stories — stories of challenges to put food on the table and fears of eviction. While each story and circumstance is unique, one detail ties them together: their unwavering love for their children.
Recently Carla, a mother of two, visited our Bellevue Family Hub seeking support. Here is her story:
Carla is a single mother with two children in elementary school. Life hasn’t been easy for Carla this past year. She’s been dealing with a leg injury that has required multiple surgeries. Before she injured her leg, Carla was a Nursing Assistant — a job requiring her to be on her feet most of the day. After her injury, she was forced to take time off from work and eventually lost her job.
In addition to dealing with her injury, one of Carla’s children, her son Michael, has special needs that require unique care and support. Since losing her job, it’s been difficult for Carla to find a new position that accommodates the time she needs for her son. Months went by without a steady paycheck.
Carla tried her best to provide for her kids and keep income coming by taking on odd jobs, but it wasn’t enough to make ends meet. Without a reliable source of income, Carla found it impossible to pay her rent and other bills on time. Despite her best efforts, she fell behind on her rent for several months, placing her and her children in critical danger of being evicted.
Feeling overwhelmed and alone, she contacted the Family Engagement Specialist at her children’s school. Carla was referred to our Bellevue Family Hub. Thanks to our community’s support, we were able to step in and provide the necessary funds to cover several months of back rent. We also covered a past-due medical bill from her leg surgery thanks to our Amazon Right Now Needs Fund partnership.
This immediate support gave Carla the boost she needed to get back on her feet financially. We are also thrilled to share that recently, Carla was able to secure a new flexible position as a receptionist at a local healthcare clinic — a position that doesn’t require her to be on her feet and provides solid healthcare for her children.
The most important part of Carla’s story of support is that her two children were prevented from facing eviction, which often leads to homelessness. Experiencing homelessness can have a significant and long-lasting impact on children’s physical, emotional, and cognitive development. Experiencing homelessness is particularly harmful to children because it usually means they lack basic necessities like food and clothing.
The stress of eviction and lack of basic needs makes it difficult for children to focus on their studies, resulting in them falling behind and putting them at greater risk of dropping out before graduating from high school. This is exactly what Bellevue LifeSpring strives to prevent from happening. With a place to call home, Carla’s children have the stability they need to grow and learn.
While Carla’s story is unique, we are seeing a rising trend of families arriving at the Hub at risk of experiencing food and housing insecurity. The importance of supporting mothers in our community who are struggling could not be more important to our mission of building a better Bellevue.
In honor of this Mother’s Day, help us continue to uplift and empower Bellevue moms by providing support that creates opportunities for stable and self-sufficient families.
*Names and key details have been altered in this story.