One of the most fundamental needs for any child is a stable home. The Bellevue LifeSpring emergency rent assistance program allows families who are at risk of being evicted to stay sheltered and on the pathway away from homelessness.
With the rising cost of housing in Bellevue, we see the number of children experiencing homelessness rising as well. “We started counting students experiencing homelessness in 2007. At that time we counted 58. We ended 2018 having identified 286 students,” shared Melissa Slater, the Equity Project Leader and National Board Program Coordinator for the Bellevue School District. “It’s important to note that the actual count is always greater than what we report because tremendous shame often accompanies being homeless and families are hesitant to reach out for assistance.”
Despite these challenges, thanks to your collective generosity, 90 families with 198 children received rent assistance in 2019. These families are now able to stay safe, stable and warm in their apartment homes. They will no longer have to consider sleeping in cars or a shelter. They will no longer have to choose between paying their rent and feeding their kids.
Jamie’s family is similar to many of the families who receive rent assistance. One bad financial month left her facing the possibility of homelessness. Jamie called Bellevue LifeSpring after unexpectedly losing her job. As a single mother of three children, she was already struggling to make ends meet. Her youngest child, Rebecca, is currently undergoing medical treatment after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. After paying the costly medical bills, on top of her monthly bills and rent, Jamie was left with little to zero savings at the end of the month.
Thanks to your generosity, Bellevue LifeSpring was able to help Jamie pay her rent, avoiding eviction, while she searched for a new job. Just one month made all the difference and Jamie and her kids were able to get back on their feet after a very uncertain time.
A stable home environment is critical to a child’s capacity to achieve success in the classroom and beyond. Bellevue LifeSpring’s goal for the coming decade is to ensure that every student in Bellevue, regardless of their socio-economic status, has the food, clothing, housing assistance and educational support they need to graduate from high school.
We invite you to take this journey with us and help us ensure all Bellevue children have the chance to thrive. Learn how you can help.