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Bell Tower Almost Ready To Open Its Doors With Open Arms

View of Bell Tower from the street.

Bells will be ringing!

Excitement and growth are springing up left and right at Lydia Place as we prepare to officially open the doors of our newly renovated residential floor at our Bell Tower Campus!

Bell Tower, a former church in the York Neighborhood, was acquired in September of 2016, and now houses our Parent Support team, Counseling team and Family Support team. In addition, the property features a 1,100 square foot dance and activity space that we rent to individuals and groups, and in the new few weeks, a permanent supportive housing program and residence for homeless families with very young children.

The remodel of the bedrooms, and the addition of the activity room, will be able to provide five mothers with a safe, secure place to call home and bond with their children in the crucial early stages of their

A placard inside one of our new bedrooms welcoming its next family.

development.  Bedrooms are available for “adoption” as a way to help defer costs of furnishing each space, and bring a true sense of  community connectivity, and home into the program.

 

If you would like to adopt one of our rooms at Bell Tower, contact shultziew@lydiaplace.org to get started.

In addition to providing a safe and comfortable space to live, families at Bell Tower will be provided with a variety of supportive services. These supports include our Parents as Teachers program that provides parents with the skills and resources to raise healthy, happy little ones, life skills classes, to one-on-one case management services that enable each and every person to reach their goals and ensure a bright and healthy future for themselves and their family.

Many individuals, groups and businesses have donated time and resources to the facility. These include Christ the King North County, Christ the King, Kiwanis Young Professionals, WWU, The Collins Family + Random Acts, The Bates Family, The McGrath Family, The City of BellinghamRawls Electric LLC, Walker Flooring and Interiors, and Crave Catering. Additional work parties and opportunities for involvement are still available, just email kylef@lydiaplace.org to learn about upcoming volunteer opportunities.

The recently repainted basement of Bell Tower.

As a way to defer the facility mortgage, Lydia Place rents the beautiful dance and education space to groups for one-time and ongoing classes/ events. If you have an upcoming event and are interested in renting the Bell Tower Community Center, please contact belltowerrental@lydiaplace.org or visit our website at belltowercommunitycenter.com.

Don’t have an upcoming event, but still want to lend a hand? Join us this Saturday, April 22 from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm for an Earth Day garden party at Bell Tower! Contact kylef@lydiaplace.org to learn more and sign up!

 

 

Raising the Roof with the Gladstone Renovation

 

Spring is here and Lydia Place is raising the roof, literally! For nearly three-decades, we have been committed to breaking the cycle of homelessness for families and their children while expanding to meet the needs the community, without increasing the physical footprint of our organization. To continue to support homeless families in Whatcom County, this desperately needed renovation on our Gladstone Office location will include adding on a second story and remodeling the ground floor.

“In the past five years we have added over ten staff, increased housing placements by 30%, and added a parenting program and counseling services,” Lydia Place Director Emily O’Connor said. “However, through this significant growth, our physical operation space has remained the same. Staff have been tripled up in single offices, and we have relocated some staff to an offsite location.”

 

This necessary expansion project involving our program office required a nearly two-year capital campaign, Strengthening Families, Building Futures, that included the leadership and support of both Bellingham Bay Rotary Club and Rotary Club of Bellingham, who contributed $50,000 and $100,000 respectively to the project. Further, both clubs committed representatives to Lydia Place to support the building and material acquisition process. Construction is expected to last upwards of six-months, with RAM Construction and RMC Architects guiding the way, and a celebration and  ribbon cutting ceremony planned for Fall 2017.

Although construction has started, our campaign is not over yet. The Strengthening Families, Building Futures Campaign is nearing its goal, and our agency directors hope to close out the final round by the late Spring. Our Development and Outreach Director Shultzie Willows passionately believes that the last stretch of funding will be achieved soon.

 

“We have been very fortunate to receive the support of some incredible local community members, our Board of Directors, local rotary clubs, First Federal Foundation, RAM Construction and Norcliffe Foundation,” Willows said. “We are hopeful we can connect the last few dots and raise the final $75,000 needed to complete this project. We have no doubt that the community, and our partners will support us in this goal.”

To learn about the Strengthening Families, Building Futures Campaign, make a gift of support, or learn about the programs and services of Lydia Place contact, Shultzie Willows at 360-671-7663 ext 2001, email info@lydiaplace.org or visit lydiaplace.org today. Be sure to follow our Instagram account, @lydiaplace to see construction updates!