Family Services Program

working to end homelessness

The Family Services Program (FSP) serves up to 110 families at a time and includes a diverse pool of resources that can be adapted to meet the specific and unique needs of each family. These resources include short-term rental subsidies, permanent supportive housing placements, long-term case management, interim housing options, and referrals to our Parent Support Program.

Lydia Place case managers work with the individual or family to identify and overcome the circumstances that led to homelessness.  Case management for families includes legal advocacy, financial empowerment, domestic violence support, parenting support, employment advocacy, life skills classes, referrals for physical/mental health needs and chemical dependency treatment/counseling, and much more.

In Bellingham 25% of our homeless are children.

Housing and program options in the Family Services Program:

Supportive Services

Since 2001, Lydia Place has partnered with the Bellingham Housing Authority (BHA) to provide in-home support to formerly homeless families placed in BHA apartments.  Today, this partnership includes 79 designated units for homeless families (and 10 for households without children). Case managers provide in-home support to residents for a long as they require, and assist them in moving out of the program when they are ready and able.

Rapid Rehousing

This housing option utilizes the private housing market to rehouse families experiencing homelessness.  Building relationships with compassionate individual landlords and property management agencies, rapid rehousing works to house families in units throughout our county and provides short-term rental subsidies until the family no longer needs that support.  Home based case management and parenting services continue until the family achieves stability.

Housing Vouchers

Each year, Bellingham Housing Authority (BHA) sets aside up to 60 subsidies housing vouchers for those experiencing homelessness and or fleeing domestic violence.  These vouchers are used in the private housing market and can be a good option for families with children who need long-term financial assistance.

Motel Stays

As part to our commitment to “no kids in cars,” Lydia Place will occasionally place a family with children in a motel for a short stay if there are no other options available.  Motel stays are expensive and not ideal for children or families, however, it can be a valuable emergency placement to increase safety while working to identify long-term options.

Family Services Program

Transitional House

In operation for over 25 years, our transitional house provides homeless women and their children with a safe home until permanent housing is secured and can serve 8 households at a time.

Case management for both mothers and children are an integral part of this program during and after a family’s stay. Mothers have both a housing case manager and a resident support staff to assist them in identifying and achieving their goals. This program also provides weekly classes to build skills and knowledge needed to find employment, get an education, maintain housing, manage finances, parent successfully, heal from domestic violence, and much more. The Parent Support Program teams also facilitates a weekly children’s group and parenting classes for the Transitional House residents.

Chestnut House

A new partnership with Whatcom Educational Credit Union, this single family home provides emergency housing to one large and/or household at a time while they work with their case manager to secure permanent housing.

Our Saviour’s House

A partnership with Our Savior’s Lutheran Church and Interfaith Coalition, this single family home provides emergency housing and intensive case management to one large homeless family at a time.

Bridges- a partnership with DVSAS

Bridges is a create collaboration with our partner, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services of Whatcom County (DVSAS). DVSAS contracts with Lydia Place housing case managers to conduct intakes and assessments, and create hosing plans for the families who enter DVSAS’s Safe Shelter.  Lydia Place case managers work weekly with these families to achieve their housing goals. This partnership gives these families access to Lydia Place’s wide array of housing resources as well as the services of our Parent Support Program. This collaboration allows both organizations to bring together their expertise in a way that increases survivors safety, reduces the length of time they spend in emergency shelter, and increases their opportunity for long-term stability.