A year ago Laura had a job she loved, a car, and a house for her and her two kids. Today, she is lucky that Seattle’s YWCA is helping her move out of a tent […]


A year ago Laura had a job she loved, a car, and a house for her and her two kids. Today, she is lucky that Seattle’s YWCA is helping her move out of a tent community into a hotel room.

I met Laura while she was moving what possessions she had left from Nickelsville, a tent community located just outside of Seattle’s downtown area, to a hotel room provided by the YWCA’s family homelessness program . Her and her kids stayed at Nickelsville for a week after “timing out” from a 30 day shelter. Laura was lucky to have a place to go. Nickelsville is the only tent community that allows children, but living in a tent in not the best situation for young kids.  Nickelsville and several social services agencies work together so that families and single parents with young kids get the help they need.

If you are not aware, and I feel a blog post on this topic coming soon, many shelters are transitional with 30 – 90 day programs. Some may go for a year or two, which actually makes a lot more sense. Who can get their life back in 90 days or less?!! NO ONE! When a resident goes past the allotted time, in Larua’s case 30 days, the family “timed out” and has to be removed from the shelter. Ideally, that would be to their own apartment or a longer transitional program, but that takes a small miracle to happen. Many places just give a reference to a new shelter and do not even provide transportation, or they will “dump” clients to other shelter programs, such as an emergency shelter that takes anyone. (Catherine was dumped to a winter shelter program, where she was kicked out into the streets and eventually died)

I have a lot of respect for Laura. While talking to her, she told me stories of her childhood that were beyond horrible. What she had to do as a child is unthinkable, but she keeps fighting hard to make a better life for her two boys, even against all odds.

If you’re interested, here is the link to the Facebook page her and her sister created for their band.

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  • Soheil

    Laura is beautiful !

  • simply me

    God Bless her, Make her Ex pay Support Nice sister letting you live in a tent with little kids while they are keeping warm and dry ( wait mine would too) I wish I had the $ to donate a car to her.

  • Sandy Woodsmall

    I feel so bad for you and I feel so helpless

  • jmj

    Thinking of you, Laura. Saying prayers. I’m so sorry for your losses and I hope that you will find a home for you and your children … You are strong and courageous. Good luck !

  • a2phil

    I had a decent paying job, a car and a place of my own 5 years ago, then Bushnomics kicked in…Obamanomics isn’t much better…I think I’ll vote straight Socialist next time…

  • Beth Wallace

    I agree- 30-90 days is ridiculous! Keep up your good work and keep asking for help Laura- things will turn around!

  • Jessica

    I was so close to this same position. I was in a volatile situation and looked for temporary housing for my children and I. I was told that nothing was available for us until we were homeless or we could be on a wait list (2 years long). How does that help anyone? I commend you Laura for not giving up and continuing to fight. Best of luck to you!


    The bluer the state, the longer the wait. If you think @BigGovt is the answer, you’re doing it wrong.

  • Merri

    Laura, you are such a smart, wonderful mother and person. I am so grateful to you for being so strong with such difficult circumstances. Your kids will not forget your strength. You are going to get through this!

  • Raven

    Yes, why don’t these democrats notice as they are campaiging for everything that the “red states” actually have far more services available… no they don’t even have easy access to something as simple as food stamps and buses existing from the government and town, but the amount of charities and helpful individual people are OFF THE CHARTS HIGHER then anything in a blue or Northern state (even if the actual conditions are better there; i.e. you can sit in the air-conditioned Starbucks and use WiFi). So who is really the one who cares about people? Well you (blue state individuals) are ignoring the homeless people you see every day and donate to useless charities instead?

  • Delia Davis Tillett

    Hang in there Laura. Some of the best people come from some of the worst situations. Be strong for yourself and your children. The Lord has given you a gift and you should use it. My belief is in God and the bible says “The greater the struggle, the greater the blessing”. Whatever your belief is, you must know the power of the gift that you possess and this is just to make you stronger for what is to come great for you. Thanks for posting your story, because people can be so judgmental and say that a person didn’t do something right and that’s the reason why they ended up where they are. But what people should understand is sometimes LIFE JUST HAPPENS!!!! We never know what day something could come and rock our world. And just because we have it now, life doesn’t always guarantee we will always have it. I will be praying for you, the children, your band and those who bless. Great things ahead. Just stand and endure, your children need you and they will thank you when they are older. God bless you.

  • Michelle Darnell

    This story is becoming all too common in this country. I am a foreclosure defense paralegal and sort of an activist. I believe we have experienced a premeditated implosion of our economy and stories like this and even worse illustrate the casualties. Stories like these fuel my desire to “be the change (I) wish to see”. America can do better and it is time for Americans from all walks of like to unite, become aware and educated and take action.
    On a side note while there are some churches that are reaching out and assisting people, I am pretty disgusted with the lack of response by the “church” as a whole to these sorts of issues. For example, most churches house commercial kitchens that remain empty 6 days a week. Why are not more of them utilizing this resource to feed people? And I know the usual arguments but I find them to be unacceptable. Jesus Christ was killed for being a revolutionary. He spoke out against the establishment and he fed the poor, healed the sick and comforted the afflicted. I don’t believe if He was walking the planet today, that he would be oft found in a church pew. I dare say I might find him in the shelter spoken of here giving Laura a hug and bouncing her young children on his knee.
    That being said, there are people that are acting as the hands an feet of Christ and fighting the injustice of this world while reaching out to those afflicted but the same, I just have found more of them outside the church then in.
    Laura, take one day at a time, hug your babies and find positive things to do for other people. This too shall pass and someday you will realize it was for a reason. Be well-michelle

  • predic

    and how can we make direct contact with Theresa? she can make 10-15k if
    she contact me and we make business deal. my email is:
    [email protected]

  • Al Ahmad

    Laura may god help you and your family get what you deserve and I hope that you make it in music good luck

  • Lisa N

    This story illustrates why these stories need telling: one year – that’s all it took to go from housed to homeless. Too many people believe only the most stereotypical concepts of the drug-addled, mentally-ill alcoholic homeless – homeless can be young, old, any gender, healthy or sick, with family or alone…. Keep the stories coming, educating people, sharing ‘The Truth from The Streets!’

  • Rebecca

    Are you on FB Michelle? Look for dirty kid couchsurfing coalition , it’s my group and I would love to talk more .

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