Meet Amber. Her story is similar to the many low-income Bellevue families whose worlds turned upside down in 2020. Amber is a single mother who cares for her 10-year-old son with epilepsy, Michael, and her 6-year-old niece, Camille. Even though it hasn’t been easy, Amber has always managed to make ends meet for her family.
When schools closed, her son and niece had to switch to remote learning. Amber had to give up one of her two jobs to stay home with them during the week. Then, she lost her weekend job as a server at a local restaurant.
Being out of work was a considerable setback for Amber. She lost all of her income and had to use her small emergency savings to keep up with their monthly rent. Before long, she found herself falling deeper into debt, two months overdue on rent and struggling to pay for her son’s medical care.
Keeping a roof over her family’s head wasn’t Amber’s only worry. She watched every dollar she spent, often having to ration food and letting her other bills go unpaid. This also made other aspects of their lives difficult. Amber has not been able to afford the repair work needed for her car making it difficult to get to the school district’s food distribution sites on a daily basis.
Amber was living in fear that they would lose their apartment when the eviction moratorium expires. This would make it impossible to find a new place to live with no work and an eviction on her record. For Michael and Camille, it has been difficult and confusing to manage the disruption and constant change to their daily routine. They don’t understand why their fridge is now empty and why Michael can’t see his favorite doctor as often as he used to.
For the first time, Amber found herself having to seek assistance for food and rent.
Thanks to our community’s support, there was a light at the end of the tunnel for Amber’s family. Your investments helped Amber get caught up on her rent debt and provided her family with grocery story food vouchers. With her children’s basic needs met, Amber can now focus on getting her family back on their feet. Sometimes just having your groceries or a month of rent covered means the difference between stability and losing everything.
As the pandemic continues, the needs of local families like Amber’s are rising. Since March 2020, requests for our food vouchers have increased by more than 50% and rental assistance requests have tripled.
Please make a contribution today and help us continue to prevent hunger and homelessness for Bellevue families.