Safe and Stable – How Together We Are Preventing Homelessness in Bellevue
Monday, March 9, 2020
In 2007, the Bellevue School District reported 58 Bellevue children whose families were experiencing homelessness. In 2014 that number rose to 228 children. Today that number has increased to 342 children. As the cost of living skyrockets here in Bellevue, so does the rate of families experiencing homelessness.
For families living in poverty or close to it, even one financial setback or unfortunate circumstance – such as a medical emergency, unexpected car expense or employment gap – can start a slide toward homelessness. Thanks to the investment of community members like you, Bellevue LifeSpring is able to lend a helping hand and provide rental assistance for families with children who are facing eviction.
Fighting Homelessness with Wraparound Services
When an eviction notice is served, a family is faced with the reality that homelessness may be next. Many of the families we support are single-parent households or families that have resorted to living squeezed together with three or four other families in a one or two-bedroom apartment. Rising housing costs put these families at risk of ending up on the streets and homeless.
Bellevue LifeSpring’s rental assistance program provides one month’s rent payment so these families can focus their full efforts on achieving self-sufficiency. Ensuring that these children and their families avoid crises and homelessness is critical to keeping them safe, stable and on the pathway out of poverty.
Thanks to the support of our community, last year we helped 202 children from 92 families stay in their homes. This year, we are assisting even more families.
Michael’s family is an example of one who would have faced homelessness without your support. After his wife passed away after a long battle with cancer, Michael became the sole provider for his two children. Faced with the trauma of losing a loved one, medical bills and having only one income, Michael had tough choices to make for his family. There just wasn’t enough money to cover the family’s expenses, including rent and groceries.
With no family support in the local Bellevue area, Michael didn’t have a safety net to turn to. So, he turned to Bellevue LifeSpring and his community. Thanks to the generosity of our community, we were able to cover the rent for Michael, keeping his children housed and safe, preventing them from experiencing homelessness. We were also able to provide Michael’s family with food and household items from our basics needs pantry. Michael was able to catch up and situate himself to be prepared to cover the next month of expenses.
Wraparound support services for children create a more sustainable solution to poverty. Our programs are designed to promote stability in a child’s life by supporting their basic needs – like food, clothing, housing and education.
Our ambition is to ensure the benefits of our programs reach ALL children living in poverty in Bellevue. Our goal is to ensure they have the support they need to graduate at the same rate as their peers and reach their fullest potentials.
With the support of our community, we aim to end hunger and homelessness for children in Bellevue and keep families like Michael’s safe, stable and self-sufficient.