Amelia is a bright and creative high school student who works hard in and out of school. Her favorite subject is art class, and one day she hopes to become an art teacher. At home, it’s just Amelia, her mom, and her little brother, Charlie. It’s not exactly home, but it is shelter. Before the pandemic, Amelia and her family had to move into a hotel after being evicted from their apartment without warning after their landlord was foreclosed upon.
The hotel was just supposed to be temporary, but since COVID-19 hit, Amelia’s mom hasn’t been able to catch up enough financially to get a place of their own, let alone find an affordable apartment and a landlord that will agree to rent to them. Amelia’s family is living paycheck by paycheck, with every dollar earned going to pay bills.
Amelia has more responsibilities and challenges than your typical carefree 16-year-old. As soon as she could, Amelia started working part-time after school to help earn extra income for her family. On top of juggling school and a job, Amelia must often care for Charlie on the weekends while their mom is at work.
The extra income Amelia earns after school helps, but because of the economic effects of the pandemic, her mom had to take a significant pay cut at work. Now Amelia often finds herself skipping meals on the weekends to make sure her brother has the food he needs. Amelia rarely gets to indulge in hobbies like creating art because it is often late at night by the time she is done with her responsibilities.
This holiday season, Amelia hopes that her family can spend time together with special celebratory meals and presents under the tree. Amelia’s holiday wish is to finally get her own art materials so she can start painting again. Her brother’s wish is for a scooter. Thanks to a generous Bellevue LifeSpring Holiday Adopt-A-Family program donor, both their wishes are coming true.
Amelia will receive a gift card to an art store in Bellevue, and her brother is getting a scooter! They will also receive clothing gift cards to purchase new warm winter clothes and grocery store gift cards so they can enjoy family holiday meals together. Amelia, her brother, and their mom will experience the joy surrounding the holiday season for the first time in what seems like forever.
Currently, there are 257 students like Amelia right here in Bellevue experiencing some form of homelessness. This is the reported number. We know there are more. Some families do not come forward due to the fear and embarrassment surrounding the social stigmas associated with being identified as experiencing homelessness.
These students live in various situations without a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. They may live with multiple families in one or two-bedroom apartments, hotels or motels, shelters, transitional housing, or domestic violence shelters. They may be living in cars, parks, or other public spaces. They may be living in youth shelters or living in temporary foster care placement. Regardless of their situation, unstable housing often has severe consequences for kids.
To help and support students experiencing homelessness, learn how to get started today.
Join your neighbors in supporting Bellevue students like Amelia this holiday season.