Submitted by Lydia PLace
On February 7, more than 300 community members, businesses, staff, and volunteers joined hearts and hands to raise funds and awareness for Lydia Place at the 14th Annual Hearts for Housing Gala & Auction. Through sponsorship, ticket sales, event activities, and donations, participants helped raise over $83,000. These dollars will allow Lydia Place to continue to provide essential housing and case management services for nearly 300 families each year, as well as provide support for Lydia Place’s new Family Intervention Initiative, dedicated to bettering outcomes for children in families who experience homelessness.
Hearts For Housing event night highlights included the new Heart of the Organization Awards given to three incredible women who dedicated their lives and resources to Lydia Place families and programs. Additionally, a Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Lydia Place founder Bess Christman, who along with three local visionaries purchased the original Lydia Place transitional house property, and built the foundation on which the organization stands today. Other recipients included former staff members Janet Wight and Mindy Gravely, who served Lydia Place families for over two decades collectively, and Sharon Victor, a community supporter who has endowed her estate to the organization.
For over 26 years Lydia Place has been a key partner in the community’s effort to end homelessness. In addition to its three key programs – the Family Services Program, the Rapid Re-housing Program, and the Bellingham Housing Authority partnership, Lydia Place has embarked upon a new initiative to break the cycle of poverty so that children in families served today, do not experience homelessness as adults. Funds raised at the 14th Annual Hearts For Housing Gala & auction will propel the Family Intervention Initiative forward and help to launch an evidence-based home visiting and parenting education program including therapeutic interventions for families that need it most.