The National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN) named Babies of Homelessness, a non-profit delivering basic needs to families facing homelessness, as its first diaper bank partner in Snohomish County.
Babies of Homelessness serves the most marginalized and invisible segment of the homeless population. These are families living in their cars, tent encampments, or couch-surfing and may not have access to a case manager.
“Diaper needs disproportionately affects families experiencing homelessness. The challenges for these families are severe and complex. It’s not just a housing issue. There might be one or more underlying medical conditions for some families, a loss of income or lack of family support. Families with children without stable housing cannot follow the basic recommendations of self-quarantining when needed, and they can also struggle to access water for handwashing,” says Brittan Stockert, Executive Director. “During this pandemic, Babies of Homelessness has seen a bigger demand for our services. We have increased the number of diapers we distribute by 309% this year. We are a small non-profit, but we continually demonstrate our ability to meet families’ growing needs. With this assistance and support of the NDBN, we will continue supplying basic needs to children in Snohomish County, an area that is currently under-served.”
“We regularly receive diapers and other infant and young child supplies from Babies of Homelessness,” says Jim Dean, Executive Director for Interfaith Family Shelter. “In Snohomish County, the need is great since no such diaper bank exists.”
The NDBN states 1 in 3 American families struggle with diaper need the lack of a sufficient supply of diapers to keep a baby clean, dry, and healthy. Since government programs—including food stamps & WIC—do not provide funding for diapers, families are forced to choose between other necessities and diapers.
“Babies of Homelessness has been a huge help in supporting parents in their reunification efforts. Often at the outset of their dependency case, parents are struggling with meeting basic needs due to the issues that brought them to the attention of Child Protective Services (CPS). This is a Catch-22 because they are being assessed as to whether they can provide for their children. Still, because of the issues faced due to poverty and substance use disorder, that is setting CPS-involved parents up for failure.” says Karen Kearney, Coordinator Homeward House. “They need some time to get stable. This is where the donations from BOH really help while they get on their feet. And for other families trying to prevent their child from being removed from their care but are not yet stable, these donations have been a lifeline. Now, during this time of COVID the need has increased, yet the means and access are even more limited. Without supports from Babies of Homelessness, our families would likely not get what they need to care for their children.”
Babies of Homelessness has been establishing partnerships with Snohomish County agencies and delivering a one month’s supply of diapers, pull-ups, formula and wipes to children.
- Homeward House, Everett
- Interfaith Family Shelter, Everett
- Housing Hope (Tomorrow’s Hope), Everett
- The Village at Casino Road, Everett
- United Way Snohomish, Everett
- Parent-Child Assistance Program (PCAP), Everett
- Volunteers of America (VOA), Everett
- Volunteers of America (VOA), Arlington, Sultan
“With the support of the NDBN, Babies of Homelessness will be able to expand its services and each,” says Stockert. “Our biggest concern is always having the resources we need, both funding and supplies, to serve the community.”
“Without Babies of Homelessness’ support, many of our families would be struggling to meet the basic needs of their young children,” says Heather Waters, Program Supervisor Housing Hope/Tomorrow’s Hope. “Our families have been so appreciative and thankful.”
“Babies of Homelessness has worked tirelessly providing diapers for many of our homeless families we serve. This service has been a lifesaver for so many moms who struggle financially every day to put food on the table, clothes on their backs, and a suitable roof over their kids’ heads. We have been so blessed for their service in our community,” says Maureen Hammer, Program Assistant, Pacific Treatment Alternatives.
The National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN) is a national non-profit founded in 2011. The Network raises awareness of #DiaperNeed and supports the development and expansion of diaper banks in communities throughout the country. Its active membership includes more than 200 diaper banks, diaper pantries, and food banks in the US. This will be the 9th partnership in Washington State and the first in Snohomish County.
Huggies® Every Little Bottom is the founding sponsor of NDBN. Huggies donates more than 20 million diapers to NDBN each year to help families in need. More information on NDBN and #DiaperNeed is available at www.nationaldiaperbanknetwork.org