Having a safe place to store one’s belongings allows people the opportunity to apply for jobs or housing, go to school or work, attend medical or other service provider appointments, and go about one's daily life without having to carry all of their belongings with them or worry about loss or theft.
Bellingham is home to many wonderful non-profits working tirelessly behind the scenes to build a stronger community. This Southside Living column written by 2roofs’ co-founder Sean Hall features local nonprofit Lydia Place.
As I Interview Emily O’Connor, director of Lydia Place, I was struck by her immense heart and great leadership in our community. When I asked about her mission she said, “What we want to do is to pull back the veil on what it means to be homeless in Whatcom County.”
Volunteers can commit to long-term or short-term tasks, but all Chore tasks are targeted at keeping people independent for as long as possible. There are so many people here who really need and appreciate help. If people would spend just two hours a week volunteering, it would make such a huge difference in our community.
Jenn, a mom with three children, had addiction issues for much of her life and struggled with self-worth because of the dysfunctional family she grew up in. She was told, and began to believe, that she wasn’t good enough, she wasn’t loveable or loved, and she didn’t deserve love. Jenn lived in a very dark place for a long time.
Recently, a client ("Joan") entered our program with her three children. She had been living with her husband, who had become verbally and physically abusive towards her, and she decided that she was no longer safe in her home. She had no other family or friends with whom she could stay, and no other resources to rent a place for her family on her own.
New Hope for Girls, African Road partners in Tanzania, is a special family home where 34 girls who were victims of modern slavery, child marriage or who had been left to the streets, find love, healing, education and a new life. The New Hope for Girls family faced a house move in early August when their landlord sold the home they had been renting.
Joseph had been in over 40 different placements over the years. He did not have a healthy support system and lacked some basic life skills. After running from his last placement, Northwest Youth Services' PAD provided emergency housing and case management to Joseph during his stay. Most importantly, the PAD provided Joseph with a time where he could focus on being a kid and work on his own goals.