Give Where You Live: How your support helped a local family stay afloat during COVID-19.
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Since the pandemic began, your generosity has helped provide rent payments for 373 families, preventing over 748 children from experiencing homelessness. Anna, her husband, and her daughter, a fourth-grader here in Bellevue, are one of the families who received emergency rent assistance thanks to your support.
Anna and her family are refugees that fled from Russia in 2017 due to religious persecution. Soon after finding their footing here in Bellevue, the pandemic hit and changed everything.
Anna shared how the pandemic’s devastating economic impacts affected her family and how Bellevue LifeSpring’s rent assistance program helped them stay afloat.
Here is what Anna shared about her experience with Bellevue LifeSpring:
I used to work in Russia as a neurologist, and my husband worked as a contractor. When we first arrived here in Washington in 2017, after fleeing Russia, I started to work with my husband as a painter. We also focused on taking English classes and making a new home here.
In June of 2019, we decided to open our own business and planned on finding our clients ourselves. However, finding clients was more difficult than we thought. My husband found work with local contractors instead. I kept focusing on my English language classes. With my husband’s new job, we started to live more of a stable life.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and my husband lost his contracting jobs. We were suddenly left without any income. We decided we had to try and find our own clients again. It was difficult because people were not hiring workers for their homes in order to stay safe. By May of 2020, we found a few clients, but the loss we took in our income was a significant drop.
Our income continued to decrease and decrease as the pandemic continued. Our debts were piling up. By the time February and March of 2021 came around, we could not afford to pay our rent. That’s when I asked the Family Engagement Specialist from my daughter’s school if there were any local services that we could turn to for help. They advised me to reach out to Bellevue LifeSpring.
I got in touch with Carlos from Bellevue LifeSpring, who treated us with compassion and respect. He let us know that Bellevue LifeSpring could take care of our February and March rent. This was a huge relief for us.
This situation taught me not to give up. While we tried to do our best, it was beyond us to cope without assistance from Bellevue LifeSpring. Now, with less debt and worry over future eviction, I’m proud to say that our business is going uphill and we have found some joy again. We appreciate the support that helped us to cope with these unexpected financial difficulties. Thank you, Bellevue LifeSpring, and thank you to our neighbors!
Thanks to your generosity, Anna‘s family could get caught up on their rent payments and avoid future eviction. Her daughter now has the stability she needs to finish the 4th grade and continue learning and growing.
Since COVID-19 hit our community, requests from families for Bellevue LifeSpring’s rent assistance have tripled. To continue to ensure Bellevue kids do not experience hunger or homelessness through the end of the school year, we must raise $1.5 million by June 30. Learn how you can help support your neighbors in need here.