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No Child Sleeps Outside

Posted by Johnine Larsen on November 25, 2014
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fireplaceThe holidays cometh! Crackling fireplaces, distant family members, bellies full of turkey. We’re entering the time of giving: giving thanks and giving gifts and giving love, and who knows? Maybe we’ll all even get some snow.

There are other ways to give, too, amid this holiday season. Ways to give to the people who need help most.


More than 550 Seattle families sleep outside every night, most of them single mothers with children. They huddle in doorways, or in makeshift camps, or under stairs. They sleep in the wet and the cold, and they sleep in danger, because a night on the street is far from safe. Especially for women and children.

These families will not enjoy the warmth of a fireplace this holiday season, and if their Thanksgiving dinner happens, it won’t include Grandma’s cranberry sauce or that same tablecloth from years and years of childhood memories.

Fortunately, Mary’s Place is doing something about it—and all of us can help. Mary’s Place is a local homeless shelter we help support, and this winter, they’ve set a goal: NO CHILD SLEEPS OUTSIDE. They’re trying to raise $250,000 for a crisis-response winter night shelter, which will give those homeless families a place to sleep, safe and warm and loved.


Dick’s Drive-In, evo, Vulcan Inc., The Space Needle/Seattle Hospitality Group, Evolution Projects, and the Harrelson family have already donated huge checks, but so far, Mary’s Place is only 26 percent of the way toward that $250,000 goal. Anyone can donate to NO CHILD SLEEPS OUTSIDE until Dec. 23, and here’s what those donations will do:

  • For every $10,000 raised, 25 families can get the down payments they need to move into transitional or permanent housing, opening emergency shelter beds for 25 additional families currently sleeping outside
  • $120,000 will provide more than 10,000 nights of shelter for families currently sleeping outside
  • $200,000 will fund Mary’s Place’s ongoing work to provide emergency shelter and services to the 160+ women and children who come to their door every day
  • $250,000 will let Mary’s Place open a crisis-response winter night shelter to bring families sleeping in places not meant for habitation inside.

So amid all the holiday festivities, take a moment to consider the families who are spending theirs outside. Think about donating, or volunteering, or spreading the word. This is the season for giving, and together, we can make sure no child sleeps outside.