More December 18, 2014

No Child Should Have to Sleep Outside


A few weeks ago the Windermere Foundation was approached with a remarkable opportunity to support the #NoChildSleepsOutside campaign, which is trying to raise $250,000 by December 23 to open a crisis-response winter night shelter for homeless families in Seattle. The Windermere Foundation was able to contribute $35,000 towards this campaign, started by Dick's Drive-in Restaurant, and benefiting Mary's Place in Seattle. Please read more about this issue that is facing all of our communities, and contact us at the Windermere Foundation for ways to help in your neighborhood. 


No Child Should Have To Sleep Outside

Imagine you are a young woman with two boys who gathers up the courage to save your children from an abusive spouse. When you arrive at a shelter, you’re told you can’t stay because your boys are too old. It’s cold, it’s dark and you’re alone.

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As leaders, wives and mothers, we’ve joined forces with Mary's Place to make sure this family and others like them have a safe and warm place to go this winter!

Homelessness is a major challenge facing Seattle and it’s hard to miss if you live, work or drive downtown. But, there is a group of homeless individuals you don’t see – families with children.

Homeless families live in the shadows. They can’t apply for temporary housing if they are staying with friends. They must be sleeping in a shelter or on the street to apply. Most of the emergency shelters available in Seattle are gender specific and require that married couples or parents and children split up. For many, the only other choice is to sleep in their car, a tent, or a public bathroom. This is unacceptable.

Imagine you're a single dad with a 5-year-old daughter. You lose your job and you can’t find work. You lose your apartment and you have nowhere to go. You call around, but you can’t find a shelter that will accept a single father. Your greatest fear is coming true. If you can’t find shelter you will have to place your daughter in foster care. It’s cold, it’s dark and you’re alone.

Mary’s Place is one of the few organizations in the city that provides emergency shelter to families. In addition to the much-needed services offered at their day shelter, Mary’s Place provides 160 family members with meals and a safe, warm place to sleep every night. But with over 500 families without shelter in Seattle, it’s not enough.

We don’t have to wait for political debates or city budgets. If we can raise $250,000, we can move more families into transitional housing, freeing emergency shelter spaces and open a new emergency shelter to bring many more homeless families inside.

There will always be emergencies; the lost job, the house fire, the diagnosis, the abuser, the natural disaster that cannot be planned for or anticipated. Getting families and children out of the cold and into a warm, safe place is the first step. We cannot allow these families to sleep in public bathrooms, cars, or tents for one more night. It’s cold, it’s dark, but they are not alone.

We are women helping women, mothers helping mothers, families helping families. We won’t give up until we have enough shelter to bring all 500 families inside.

Donate, Share & Change a Life:


Marty Hartman, Executive Director of Mary’s Place
Jasmine Donovan, VP Dick's Drive In Restaurant
Christine Wood, Executive Director Windermere Foundation 
Kelli Schneider, Seahawks Women’s Association (wife of Seahawks Special Teams Coach, Brian Schneider)
Lindsey Hauschka, Seahawks Women’s Association (wife of Seahawks Kicker, Steven Hauschka)