A Renton mother and two young sons had no place to stay, their only option was to sleep in their car at night. They turned to Mary’s Place, a Seattle-based nonprofit that offer homeless support services.
This is not uncommon. In 2018, Mary’s Place helped 650 families experiencing homelessness find stable housing.
The mother was offered resources, a place to sleep and transportation for her kids going to and from school. The organization helps families assess their housing needs and the barriers in order to find a solution to getting a home, according to a Mary’s Place press release.
But many families lose their belongings when they find themselves homeless. Once they’re on their feet, they get into a new home with nothing but clothes. The Renton family was able to get a new apartment thanks to Mary’s Place. In the release, they stated it was exciting, but without furniture and decor the place was bleak.
In response to this issue for rehoused families, Mary’s Place has the Make-a-Home program, providing the lost items to them. Volunteer groups connect with Mary’s Place families who found permanent housing, and helps them turn empty spaces into welcoming homes.
“It’s hard to be hopeful without a bed to sleep in, or a table to share dinner with your family,” Marty Hartman, Mary’s Place Executive Director, stated in the release. “The Make-a-Home program helps support families to be successful in their new housing.”
For this Renton family, volunteers from KeyBank’s Hispanic-Latino Impact Networking Group and Key Women’s Network gave them “everything they would need to start fresh in a new apartment,” according to the release.
Volunteers spent time stocking the apartment while also working close with the family to furnish, transport and assemble furniture for the new home.
“We are proud of our KeyBank employees for giving their time and efforts to those in need,” KeyBank Seattle President Matt Hill stated in the release.
The family states they’re now “beyond grateful” for being able to start over in a new apartment, with donated furniture, linens, toys and supplies for a kitchen. Make-a-Home gave them a sense of belonging and somewhere to make lifelong memories.
Mary’s Place is seeking more volunteers for this program, stating it’ll take “individuals, teams, friends, work colleagues, congregations or even companies.”
“We’d love for groups to collect items like beds, dining room tables, dishes, and art, even family photos, to create a welcoming home,” Hartman stated.