Mary's Place working to make sure 'no child sleeps outside'

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Each year Mary’s Place campaigns to make sure no child sleeps outside. The nonprofit helps countless families find shelter, and it’s about more than just four walls and a roof. Mary’s Place is laying the foundation for families to succeed because home isn’t just a place, it’s a feeling.

"We’re opening a new shelter right here in Bellevue - our very first on the east side," said Mary’s Place Director Marty Hartman.

On the outside, it’s just like any other building, but on the inside, Mary’s Place is opening doors to families in need.

"Mary’s Place really works with our community to identify buildings that are slated for demolition or that are going to be redeveloped, and then we move in and call them home for now," said Hartman.

This new temporary emergency family shelter in downtown Bellevue will begin welcoming families with children experiencing homelessness by Dec. 31.

"Our ‘no child sleeps outside’ campaign is our annual campaign that runs at the end of the year," said Hartman. "And we had a $2 million goal to make sure that we can prevent more families from leaving their homes. And then we had this opportunity, and we just knew we had to jump on it, so now we are expanding that campaign to a $3.5 million goal."

The money raised will go towards keeping moms, dads, and kids in their homes. It will help families move back into housing quickly, and it also funds the operations at emergency family shelters run by Mary’s Place. 

"It’s unacceptable to have children and families and sick children sleeping outside," said Hartman. "We know we can change this - this is solvable - this is doable. Before the pandemic, we were at ‘no child sleeps outside’ in this community and with the pandemic, we lost 300 beds. So now we are working hard to get those beds back, and you can ensure that we keep these beds."

Mary’s Place says the need is so great - thousands of families are facing homelessness as the eviction moratoriums end, and the number of families calling for shelter is the highest it's been in years. 

On an average night, about 60% are turned away – because there's simply no room. 

"We must make sure that no child sleeps outside," said Hartman.

The ‘No Child Sleeps Outside’ campaign runs through the end of the year. Click here for information on how to help.

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