Nearly a year after the onset of the pandemic, the effects of COVID-19 are continuing to leave low-income families in difficult and vulnerable situations. The risk of a child experiencing hunger and homelessness has increased exponentially. Our team has seen a 30% increase in food assistance requests and rent assistance requests have tripled. We’ve also seen families that have never sought assistance before, now asking for help.
In the midst of this crisis, you can bring much-needed hope to children like Clara.
Her family’s worst nightmare happened in April after the pandemic hit and schools closed. First, Clara’s mom was let go from her job as a nanny. Less than a month later, they got the news that Clara’s dad had been laid off indefinitely from his job as a cook at a restaurant.
As a nanny, Clara’s mom wasn’t able to qualify for unemployment. With schools closed and no money for childcare, she stayed home to care for her kids and help with remote learning. The road to receiving unemployment has not been easy for Clara’s dad. With long waits on the phone and paperwork errors, it took months before it kicked in, causing the family to burn through the small savings they had.
Clara’s parents tried to keep the reality of their situation hidden from their kids, but Clara is a perceptive kindergartener and very close with her mom and dad. She was able to tell things were dire. It can be mentally and emotionally traumatic for a child of any age to face the fear of losing their home and all the uncertainty that comes along with it.
Clara and her siblings faced realities no child should. Not only did they live in fear of losing their apartment, the only home they’ve ever known, they often had to skip dinner and go to bed hungry. The missed sleep and nutrition started taking a toll on their ability to focus on remote learning.
Thanks to the community’s support, Bellevue LifeSpring provided grocery store food vouchers and an emergency rent payment for Clara’s family.
Being able to pay rent on time and keep a good relationship with their landlord was essential to their family’s stability. When the eviction ban lifts, they won’t be at risk of sudden eviction. Clara’s parents are living in the shadow of the pandemic, waiting for it to end so they can work again.
Stories like Clara’s are becoming all too familiar this year. So many Bellevue families have had their lives turned upside down due to this virus.
We set an ambitious goal to raise $1.4 million by December 31 to ensure no child in Bellevue experiences hunger or homelessness. Currently, we are 80% of the way to our goal.
Will you help us reach our goal for Bellevue kids? A brighter future for kids like Clara starts with you.