Dear Neighbor,

A few weeks ago, I cringed as I set my alarm for earlier than I have since March- 6:45 am (yes, I know that isn’t really early at all). When it chimed the following morning, I dragged myself out of bed, after another night of pandemic-induced insomnia. I pulled my middle child from his slumber to get him dressed, fed, masked, and out the door by 7:40. Two-year-old Finnley and I walked him to his first day of in-person class as a first grader. We found quite the orchestration, with multiple staff at every entrance, greeting each car, taking temperatures, giving each child words of welcome and encouragement, and walking them lovingly to their classrooms, where COVID-19 precautions mean parents are not allowed. I gave Rowan a quick, masked kiss and said goodbye in the school parking lot as a staff member took his heavy tote of supplies. I watched for a moment, then turned to walk back home, my eyes teary, and a little catch in my throat.

I know what you may be thinking, but my swell of emotion had nothing to do with my own little kiddo getting so big and independent. Rather, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. Gratitude for all those lovely teachers and staff who have worked so hard through this crisis to care for our community’s children: preparing weekly meal boxes and food deliveries, making remote-learning plans, delivering supplies, providing emergency shelter and childcare, and more. Gratitude for the thoughtfulness, care, and compassion with which they were meeting an enormous logistical challenge to ensure our youngest and most vulnerable children are safely welcomed back to school, for the social and emotional support they so badly need. Gratitude, for yet another opportunity to witness the monumental impact of the tiniest acts of kindness. This was one of many moments in recent months that brought me to tears, reminding me that the depth of human compassion is precious, abundant, and often overlooked. Reminding me that when we all work together for our common goals, rooted in love and the understanding that we are one human family, we can accomplish anything. I believe these things to be true, in part because I see this every day in the extraordinary generosity of YOU, our community of Lydia Place volunteers, and supporters.

It has been a rocky year, to say the least. At Lydia Place, we have continued to forge ahead with critical services, now mostly provided remotely. We are still housing families in emergency placements and permanent homes. We’re providing remote parenting sessions and remote mental health sessions. We continue to expand our services to keep pace with the growing and changing needs in our community, while now working harder than ever to find pathways through a shifting and endangered funding landscape. Meanwhile, we continue our strong advocacy for broader early supports for families, and the system transformations we know are necessary for a healthy and equitable community. We continue to ask hard questions about how we can do our part to remedy and eliminate racial and economic inequality.

Yet, despite this year’s deep divisions, heartache, fear, and trauma, I find myself filled with optimism. I see opportunity shining through for us to be our best selves, to think and communicate openly and creatively, and build a community that recognizes the humanity in every single person and cherishes every single child – and for Lydia Place to lead with compassion and hope. We will work to cultivate a healthy and thriving community, work that your generosity and support will help us accomplish. Thank you for showing up, for opening your hearts and your hands, and making our work possible.

With gratitude,



These are not just words, they are calls for action—an on-going commitment to learning, adapting, and evolving to be our best selves on behalf of our community and those we have the privilege to serve. Click the tabs below to learn more.

We believe strong healthy communities are the foundation to a better world.

In client relations: Every person is a valued member and participant in our community. We collaborate with those we serve, who may have been marginalized or isolated, to build meaningful connections.

In the workplace: We have a workplace that prioritizes the health and wellness of staff and their families. We build into our work intentional space to connect with each other personally and professionally.

In the larger community: Everyone has something to offer to this work. We celebrate the spirit of generosity by actively creating avenues for engagement and creative collaborations.

We believe it is our responsibility to actively challenge systems of oppression. We recognize a majority of those experiencing homelessness have been marginalized.

In client relations: We start from a place of learning; recognizing that the client voice must shape our work.

In the workplace: At all levels of the agency, we dedicate time and space to engaging in meaningful dialogue around our individual and collective contributions to inequity. We hold each other accountable for our missteps and embrace discomfort in pursuit of social justice. We work to reflect the diversity of the community we serve. We look for ways to evolve as an agency rather than accepting the status quo.

In the larger community: In our interactions with community members, donors, volunteers, and other stakeholders, we use our voice to address racism and oppression, and leverage positive change.

We believe that the best way to eliminate homelessness is to look beyond short-term solutions and focus on breaking the generational cycle of poverty.

In client relations: We provide services that not only address today’s needs but prepare our clients for long-term success.

In the workplace: We foster an environment of critical thinking in order to implement innovative and sustainable solutions and adapt our services to meet changing needs.

In the larger community: We advocate for systemic solutions that acknowledge that crisis response must be balanced with preventative strategies.

We value each other as humans first. We know that the best outcomes for our clients and our community are achieved when our team is healthy and thriving.

In order to provide compassionate services with clarity and intention, we commit to self-care and acknowledging times of burnout, and stepping back as needed.

We invest deeply in our team members by promoting personal and professional growth including cultivating leadership from within, individualizing positions, providing mentorship, and encouraging continuing education.

We are proud to provide living wages, fully employer-sponsored healthcare, paid paternal leave, paid sabbatical, four weeks minimum paid time off annually, holiday pay, and an agency-sponsored retirement plan.

We are a family-centered workplace and we value the importance of infant/parent bonding. Children are welcomed, encouraged, and loved. Therefore, we support our team members by providing autonomy and flexibility.

We take opportunities to engage in meaningful dialogue with stakeholders, funders, and community members regarding the importance of living wages and good benefits for those working in the non-profit sector.

Recurring gifts have played a huge role in our ability to keep saying “yes” to families in need of emergency bed nights. Since launching Housing Heroes, our new monthly giving program, 65 individuals have donned their capes to help us end homelessness for families in our community! For as little as $5 a month, you can provide a child and their family a night of safe shelter in a warm bed. Click here to become a Lydia Place Housing Hero.


With the housing system beyond capacity and more families on the brink of homelessness,
increased community support is needed now more than ever to curb negative outcomes for our neighbors.


The impact of COVID-19 on mothers caring for young children is profound.


Public Health Experts predict skyrocketing rates of depression as a result of this pandemic.

Make an End of Year gift by 1/23/2021 to be featured in our next End of Year Newsletter.

2020 Engineering, Inc.

Kristine & Blake Allen

Evelyn Amesm


Charlie Arballo

Amy Ashby

Anthony Ashe

Chris Baier

Kathryn Beck

Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

Richard & Jan Berg

Sherrill & Peggy Blankenship

The BP Foundation

Carol Brach

Ariel Brinn

Charles Brown

Virginia & Jerry Brownfield

Cheryl Buck, Inc.

Stephen Buetow

Mark Bugas

Maureen Carr

Janice Claussen

Carol & Dennis Comeau

Tom & Merrie Copeland

Bill & Fran Davis

Elizabeth Delgatto

Deutsche Telekom, Inc.

Diane DeWitt

Nathan & Amanda Dwyer

John Elliott

Shala Erlich

Mary Evans

Joe & Carole Farina

Timothy J Fenlason

First Congregational Church
Pilgram’s Circle

Lisa Ford

Virginia Foster

Arla Fowler

Anne Franzmann

William L Freeman

Jillian Froebe & Elizabeth Kerwin

GeoEngineers, Inc.

Christine Gibbs

Alex Gorman

Lynn Graham

Louis & Christine Green

Paul & Mary Grey

Kathleen Gundel

Julianna Guy

Michael Haberman

Alesia Hall

Mike Hammes

Jim Harber

Barbara Harrell

Jeanine Hart Horner

Greer W. Hastings

Joan Hawley

Beth Hawthorne

Wade & Laurie Henley

Alicia Herzog

Robert Alan Hicks

Joel & Helena Hiltner

Allyssa & Mike Hinkley

Jennifer Hinckley

David Hooper

Delbert & Audrey Hubbard

Jonathan Huffman

Kyle Huleatt

Kelley James

Jayme’s Accessories

Beverly C. Johanson

Debra Jones

Alishia Joubert

Richard & Judith Kasper

John & Sandra Keith

Karen Kesslering

Lawrence & Pyllis Kiehn

Christine Kubota

Christine Joy Larsen

Latitude 49

TJ Lee

Judith & Dennis Lewis

Brian & Pomela Lind

Little Family Legacy Foundation

Sandra Little

Karin Luce

Lummi Island Congregational Church

Georgia & Bob MacGregor

Bruce & Joan Mackay

Fay Mafnas

Jane Major

Leah Marx


The Mary Redman Foundation

Brooke Masley

Kay Mason

Joan Matz

Donald McCale

Kristin McCullough

Dustin McKissen

Giovanna McLaughlin

Janet & Walter Miller Fund

Carolyne Milling

Robert & Jeanette Morse

MTE Fund

Shirley Murray

Nina Nancarrow

Dr. David Netboy

Haylie & Shawn Northhouse

Merrie & Sean O’Meara

Hudson Oehlerich

Silas Oehlerich

Mary Oherron

Jo Dereske & Thomas Patten

Joel Pattinson

Michael Payne

Troy Pazaski

Amanda Pennell

Mary & Ralph Perona

Kenneth & Patricia Pettichord

Jo Philpot

Virginia Pieters

Cara Piscitello

Robert Pollock

Justin Pool

Greg & Tami Posel

Marlene & Gene Potocnik

Neal Price

ProPack Logistics US, LLC

Joel & Suzanne Rautiola

Ann T. Reading

Rectors Vacuum Service

Tasha Repp

Merete & James Rhoades

Constantine & Lucinda Rigas

Riordan-Thompson Family Charitable Fund

Carolyn Robbins

Scott Roberts

Cheryl Rochford

Thomas & Junko Roehl

Deborah Royal

Robert Sagen

Michael Sato & Amy Nelson

Roger & Lisa Schjelderup

Dale Schrader

Phyllis Self

Kari A. Severns

Lora Sherman

Mary Ellen Shields

Rose Marie Slay

Karla K. Slusher

Linda Smeins

Ashley Rose Snyder

Aurora Solum

St. John’s Lutheran Church

State Farm Insurance Companies

Diane Staves

Patricia McGuire Stigliani

Maurice & Anita Stoffer

Jenn Stutsman


Scott L. Thomson

Breanna & Todd Thramer

Tom Thramer

Top Land Trading, Inc.

Tucker Family Foundation

Lindsay Tucker

Jean Tufano

UFCW Local 21

Kara Van Metre

Vanderpol Realty

Kristen VanJaarsveld

Vautaux Construction

June & John Vigor

Ashlee Walls

Welcome Construction, Inc.

Megan Elizabeth Westgate

Rebecca & Russ Weston

Whatcom Community Foundation

John & Kathryn Whitmer

Judith Wilgress

Dean Williams

Carolyn Wolfe

Robert & Alicia Wurm

Marilyn & Gary Wyss

Angi Zender

Barbara Zielstra

Tony & Lynne Zold

*This list includes active monthly contributors as of December 15th, 2020.

Jeanne Baker, Matthew Barrow, Lindsey Bear, David James Beaumier, Drew & Michael Betz, Brianna Brumbaugh, Michael and Mary Jane Brunt, Lisa N Chovil, Karen & Richard Clark, Jennifer Cool, Mychel LeRae Cortese, Susan Costanzo, Sue Croft, Deb Currier, Shannon & Peter Day, Cayla Dickens, Michelle Dohm, Danielle Elder, Kacia Emley, Pamela Eileen Englett, Graham Essex, Jaime Alison Friedrich, Rachel Garcia, Kaitlyn Gerard, Deanna Marie Ginter, Audrey Gravley and Bill McGinnis, Mindy and Alex Gravley, Alycia Hawkins, Roxanna Hayes, Lisa Heezen, Amy Johnson, Hank Kastner, Ann K Lackland, Tom Laughlin, Sonja Lee, Nancy Long, Becky Ludwig, Erin Lynch, Lynda Hinton Real Estate Inc, Katherine McDade, Megan C McGinty, Kathleen McQuaide, Heather Michel, Patti K Morgan, Marilyn Moullen, Shenandoah Myrick, Tammie O’Dell, Traci Orr, Laura Ann Owens, Tierney Owens, Susan & Jeff Palmer, Deborah Parker, Kristen Parsons, Melanie S Pysden, Misty Kaye Rainwater, Natalie Ransom and Ryan Wimberly, Amanda Robins, Kathy and Marcus Rowe-Guthrie, Suzannah & Tyler Schroeder, Kathleen Smith, Jillene Snell, Sue Staley, Delores Starcher, Sterling Rentals LLC, Patricia McGuire Stigliani, Ryan Thramer, Pepper Tipton, Jeffery Tom, Peter Turner, Shawna Unger, Trent John Vigor, Ruby Volker, Kerri Walker, Elizabeth Walukas
Translate »