Monthly news & updates
May | 2019
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Bellingham’s largest fashion show extravaganza and handbag exchange. Hundreds of handbags, a beauty bar, cocktail and wine vendors, along with local boutiques and retailers all come together under one (tented) roof, to showcase the sheer power of local fashion and philanthropy.
Please join us for our Annual Lydia Place Volunteer Appreciation Party on July 10 at the Joe Martin Field, where we'll watch the Bellingham Bells take on the Walla Wall Sweets. We'll buy the hot dogs and drinks, all you need to do is let us know if you and a guest are coming!
This event is free! Please RSVP to Rita Thames by July 1st. | 360.671.7663 x 2005
5:30 PM - 10:00 PM
You're invited to Bellingham's Beer Prom benefiting Lydia Place! This year's theme is Back to the Future's Enchantment Under The Sea. Wear your favorite 50s fashion and drink one of a kind collaboration beers! Your future prom night includes a 80's costume contest, a Royal Beer Court, unforgettable dance moves, a photo booth, raffle prizes, food trucks, and special guest DJ Blindfate.
Lydia Place will receive $140,000 for Mental Health Program

Mountlake Terrace, Wash. - (March 21, 2019) - Premera Blue Cross through its Premera Social Impact program today announced $595,000 in grants made to six nonprofit organizations across Washington to support behavioral health solutions,...

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Lydia Place will receive $140,000 from Premera Blue Cross over two years to support the only program in Whatcom County to offer mobile, on-site, mental health therapy for those experiencing homelessness.

Erin Smith, Clinical Mental Health Program Director of at Lydia Place, estimates approximately 60% of the clients Lydia Place serves have a significant mental health challenge that impacts their ability to effectively engage in the case management services needed to achieve and maintain housing stability.

"Our hope is to grow our Mental Health Program so we have the ability and capacity to respond to all requests for mental health services. Despite the popular narrative that people experiencing homelessness are unwilling to engage in mental health services, in fact, at Lydia Place, our experience tells us the opposite. Most people are willing and able to accept treatment, but those services must be accessible and be truly able to meet people where they are."

Thanks to Premera's two-year stipend, this month Lydia Place welcomed a new clinician to their Mental Health Program team.

In 2018, Lydia Place's Mental Health Program provided 574 individual therapy sessions serving a total of 51 clients in enrolled in their programs.
Community Cares features individuals and businesses who coordinated a drive and/or donated 100% of proceeds in order to fulfill an immediate Lydia Place need.
Community Cares: Washington Shoe Company & Wear A Big Smile Foundation

In true Bellingham style, we don’t let a little rain get in our way, especially when the Washington Shoe Company's Wear A Big Smile Foundation has provided 700 pairs (and counting) of new rain boots to our Lydia Place families.

The Wear A Big Smile Foundation was created after the family-owned Washington Shoe Store celebrated its 125th year in business. Vice President, Mark Moehring explained how rare and fortunate they are to have been in business for so long. He went on to explain how they wanted to show their gratitude by giving back to local families, the very people who have supported their business over the years.

Through a chance interaction at another local business, Mark was told about Lydia Place's work within the community. Drawn to Lydia Place's work with families and children, the Wear a Big Smile Foundation and Washington Shoe Company found it's perfect "fit."

We at Lydia Place want to give a HUGE thank you to this amazing local business for giving our families a reason to wear a big smile-even during the rainy season!
Community Cares: Heron Alicia Dance and Fitness

Heron Alicia Dance and Fitness's "Dance for a Difference" fundraiser on May 22, raised over $500 for Lydia Place families. In addition, they hosted a separate drive to help us fulfill one of our largest, on-going, program needs-welcome home baskets!

Starting from scratch isn't cheap, our Welcome Home Baskets provide several essential home good items and supplies to families graduating into permanent housing. These baskets include:
  • Toilet paper
  • Box of tissues
  • Paper towels
  • Clothing hangers
  • Sponges
  • Dish soap
  • Kitchen towels
  • Pot holders
  • Garbage bags
  • Sandwich bags
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic wrap
  • Hand soap
  • Cleaning wipes
  • Body wash
  • Full size shampoo and conditioner
We are inspired by Heron Alicia Dance and Fitness efforts to try and end the stigma of homelessness in our community by spreading awareness through their various platforms. We want to say thank you, and thank you for supporting Lydia Place and for being an agent of change in our community!
If you or your businesses is interested in raising funds or hosting a drive in support of Lydia Place we'd love to hear about it! Please contact our Community Engagement Coordinator, Rita Thames at to learn which needs make the biggest impact for our families.
Campus Housing Program families are in desperate need of new or gently used furniture.

Case managers are looking for a couch and a dining set that sits at least 5 for one of our properties.

Please contact Lydia Place Property Manager, Becca Seim at (360)-671-7663 ext 1006.
Mother’s Day, When You’re the Boss

Lydia Place Executive Director, Emily O'Connor, featured in Bellingham Alive! May 2019 Mother's Day feature.

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Making Eye Contact with Homeless People Is Important

It's free, and it makes a big difference for everyone It's something you take for granted every day.....

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Wise Buys Program's Volunteer Victory Winner

We'd like to recognize Tari for her commitment to ending homelessness in our community through her volunteer service with Lydia Place. On behalf have of Lydia Place and the Wise Buys team, thank you for all the hard work you do to keep Wise Buys running smoothly and making our Thursdays full of fun! We hope you enjoy the goodies, you deserve it!
Contributor Circle
Thank you to the following businesses and individuals who generously gave during the month of May.
Steven Arnold, Robert Ball, David Beaumier, Bellingham Auto & Truck Service Inc.,
BP Foundation, Michael & Mary Brunt, Thomas Burkland, Carmichael Clark, Tony Casale,
Cheryl Buck Inc., Karen & Richard Clark, Sue Ann Croft, Jennifer Dodge, Pamela E. Englett, Graham Essex, Steve Forbes, Lisa Heezen, Heritage Bank, Amy Johnson, Wendy Jones,
R. L. Kagan, Alan G. Kemble, Kroger, Ann Lackland, Tom Laughlin, Nick Leader,Sonja Lee David & Tisch Lynch, June Matics, Megan McGinty, Kathleen McQuaide, Patti Morgan, Marilyn Moullen, Shenandoah Myrick, Nina Nancarrow, Network for Good, Debbie Parker, Denise Pethick, Puget Sound Energy, Melanie Pysden, Margaret Schacht, Cleo Schacker, Kari Severns Karla Slusher, Jillene Snell, Ashley Snyder, Delores Starcher, Sterling Rentals 1 LLC, Susan Willhoft, Scott L. Thomson, Ryan Thramer, Truist, United Way of Pierce County, Elizabeth Walukas, Whatcom Community Foundation