In One of the Wealthiest Cities in America, Families Are Being Left Behind
Tuesday, April 5, 2022
Here in Bellevue, one of the top wealthiest cities in the nation, tech and businesses are booming. Yet, despite this growth, one in five Bellevue students is at risk of experiencing hunger or homelessness.
As the cost of living continues to rise in Bellevue, low-income families have become even more vulnerable to experiencing food and housing insecurity. Bellevue LifeSpring aims to support and provide stability to families going through difficult times before it gets to a point where children are missing meals or families are served eviction notices.
How do we provide support to children and families who need help?
We provide grocery store food vouchers to support children and their families in getting the nutrition they need.
With the rising costs of groceries, Bellevue LifeSpring’s food voucher support is more vital than ever. Vouchers help ensure families don’t have to make hard choices between buying groceries or paying rent. These vouchers also provide autonomy for families to purchase the food that fits their cultural and dietary needs and preferences.
Thanks to our community’s support, since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we have provided over 944,000 meals to Bellevue students.
We provide rental assistance and eviction prevention to help keep families housed and provide the stability needed to get back on their feet.
As housing prices skyrocket, living in Bellevue has become challenging for families to sustain. According to a recent report from the City of Bellevue, 19% of households in Bellevue fall into the very low and extremely low-income level. Still, only 9% of housing in Bellevue is affordable at that level. The report also shared that 30% of households in Bellevue spend more than 30% of their income on housing, which is considered cost-burdened.
As the cost of living grows, we see more and more families left behind. Currently, 302 reported students who attend the Bellevue School District are experiencing homelessness, and nearly 4,000 students live in low-income households and are at risk of experiencing food and housing insecurity. This is the highest reported number from the school district in eight years.
Thanks to our community’s support, since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we have prevented homelessness for over 1,252 children.
Bellevue children need your continued support!
The word “homeless” or the idea of a child in need may have you thinking of families living in tents, or it may invoke an image of desperation. While that is the experience of a few children, the reality is that there are countless situations in which Bellevue children in need experience instability and a lack of basic needs.
A Bellevue student in need could have a single parent working multiple jobs to stay afloat, or they could have two parents both working minimum wage jobs. A student in need could have a family member undergoing an unexpected crisis, like a cancer diagnosis. They could have a parent who lost their job during the pandemic. They could be living in foster care or doubled up at a relative’s house.
The situations are endless for why a student in our community may need support, and just one barrier can prevent them from making it to high school graduation. Bellevue LifeSpring’s programs and services aim to break the cycle of poverty for low-income children in our community and provide them a path to stability and self-sufficiency.
Help us ensure we can continue to support Bellevue kids by making an advance gift and attending our upcoming Step Up to the Plate Benefit Luncheon on May 24 at the Meydenbauer Center.
Together we will prevent hunger and build pathways to success for Bellevue students in need.
When we give where we live, we all benefit.