Daphne and her daughter Lucy recently visited our Bellevue Family Hub resource center to receive rental assistance. Daphne and Lucy live here in Bellevue, where Lucy attends high school.
When Daphne reached out to Bellevue LifeSpring for help with her rent payment, she shared with us that she and Lucy have faced numerous challenges over the past couple of years. Most recently, in January, Daphne received a life-altering cancer diagnosis and has had to have multiple surgeries over several months.
Daphne is a self-employed hairdresser. After her diagnosis, she continued taking on clients when possible but had to take a six-week leave for surgery and recovery. This leave resulted in a massive gap in her income. She lost six weeks of appointments and approximately $4,800 in wages, which for Daphne, is about two months’ worth of rent.
Even with the help of child support, there weren’t enough resources to absorb the fluctuation in her income. Even before her diagnosis, Daphne struggled to keep up with the rising cost of living here in Bellevue. Once Daphne’s medical bills started to arrive, Daphne and Lucy began to rely on food support and other community resources to get by. Before long, Daphne found herself unable to cover the rent for May.
In danger of eviction, she turned to Bellevue LifeSpring. When we shared the news with Daphne that we would cover not only her missed rent payment for May but also her rent payment for June, she was overwhelmed with gratitude.
“I fell to my knees and cried as I read your email,” shared Daphne. “This is such a level of stress lifted off my shoulders, especially after three major surgeries to remove the cancer. I cannot thank you and your organization enough for all this support. Now I can focus on healing.”
When a family is already on the brink of financial instability, even one unexpected bill or one day of lost wages can push them into experiencing economic hardship, hunger, or homelessness.
A home can change everything.
One of our visions is that every child here in Bellevue has a stable place to call home. A home is vital for children’s educational success, emotional wellness, physical health, and overall development. This stability lays the groundwork for an environment that enables children to thrive and reach their full potential.
Together, since the start of January of this year, we have prevented homelessness for 257 children from 132 families. We are grateful to work with local businesses, the City of Bellevue, and generous Bellevue community members to harness our collective generosity and prevent as many Bellevue families as possible from facing homelessness or falling further behind financially.
Our emergency rental assistance continues to be in high demand as the number of Bellevue students in need of support continues to rise. Currently, there are 4,175 Bellevue children enrolled in their school’s free and reduced-price meal program. The reported number of Bellevue children experiencing homelessness is 489. The highest in over a decade.
If a child never experiences homelessness in the first place, they are more likely to succeed in the classroom and beyond. Invest in your community today and help ensure we can continue to help prevent Bellevue children from experiencing homelessness.
*To ensure the confidentiality of our clients, names and identifying information have been altered.