At Mary’s Place children and families facing homelessness find support

By Regence
December 27, 2022
Mary's Place

When a person loses the security of their home, it is always a crisis, but when that person has children, homelessness can be even more traumatic. Housing insecurity has become a major community concern in recent years. This is one of the many reasons why Regence BlueShield has invested over $500,000 in Mary's Place since 2015 to assist women and families experiencing homelessness.

Mary's Place, based in Seattle and operating five shelters throughout King County, assists women and families in transitioning out of homelessness and into more stable situations. The nonprofit's services include rental assistance, mobile outreach and support, emergency shelter, and assistance with the health and well-being of sick children. Mary's Place's programs help to reduce childhood trauma and break generational cycles of homelessness.

Funding from Regence has helped Mary’s Place expand services and keep more families out of homelessness. We are honored to have supported the following accomplishments that Mary’s Place has implemented through our investment:  

  • Launched a Health and Wellness Program that helps women set goals for better health and empowerment.
  • Developed the Mary’s Place Passport Program, which helps families understand the steps for moving forward from shelter to housing within 90 days.
  • Established the Mary’s Place Housing Stability Team, which helps families as they navigate new challenges that come with a stable home.
  • Implemented the Popsicle Place Program, which includes emergency shelter accommodation for children with complex medical needs and highly compromised immune systems.

Homelessness is closely connected to declines in physical and mental health, and it is even more precarious for children who are immunocompromised or very sick. The Popsicle Place Program, funded in part by Regence, delivers critical shelter to children and their families as they recover. That’s why the annual No Child Sleeps Outside fundraising campaign is so crucial for Mary’s Place. This year’s fundraiser, sponsored by Regence, runs throughout the holiday season and concludes on Dec. 31. It is especially urgent this year with COVID-19 eviction moratoriums lifting and more families at risk of losing their homes. To learn more and donate to the campaign, click here.

“At Regence, we know the impact that stable housing and access to resources can have on the health of individuals and the overall health of our communities, and we are so grateful for the incredible work that Mary’s Place does to address these challenges,” said Andrew Over, regional market vice president of Regence BlueShield and Mary’s Place board member. “I have enjoyed getting involved personally with the mission of Mary’s Place. In addition to serving as a board member, my family and I have volunteered together, which has been a great way to support their mission and create family memories through service.”

In addition to philanthropic investments, Regence employees have shown their commitment to Mary’s Place through volunteerism, personal contributions and clothing donations. Since 2015, Regence employees have volunteered nearly 300 hours and donated over $44,000. With the 50% match from Cambia Health Foundation, the total employee-driven investment into Mary’s Place is over $70,000.

Regence employee Stephanie Lambert-Hisle is a longtime volunteer of Mary’s Place. “At Mary’s Place I have witnessed the power of giving and selflessness,” said Lambert-Hisle. “Everyone at Mary’s Place, from the staff to the volunteers, always goes the extra mile to make sure needs are met. No person is every excluded.” Stephanie has held several volunteer roles with Mary’s Place over the years, including helping kids with homework once a week.

Since 1999, Mary’s Place has helped thousands of women and families move out of homelessness and into more stable situations, providing resources, housing and employment services, community and hope. We are honored to have had a small part in supporting Mary’s Place and its good work for vulnerable children and families across King County.