The mission of Lydia Place is to support sustained independence by providing housing, supportive services, advocacy, education, and by raising awareness of the faces and causes of homelessness.
At Lydia Place, we believe that housing is a basic human right. We believe that in order for an individual to reach their true potential this basic human right must be met.
Further, we recognize that inequality and oppression exist and are among the root causes of poverty and homelessness. We believe that collaboration with individuals, families, and the community is the key to sustained independence.
Lydia Place was established in 1989 by a task force of Church Women United who saw a need for a safe housing for homeless women. Although the organization is an independent not-for-profit entity with no religious affiliation, the name “Lydia” came from Lydia in the New Testament, who was a businesswoman (a seller of purple cloth) and hospitable (she opened her home to the apostle Paul). Since the goal of the transitional housing program was to assist women in becoming self-sufficient and to offer hospitality to homeless women and their children, Lydia seemed to exemplify the mission of the new organization. With the help of many, the Transitional Housing Program facility was purchased and the first family moved in October 1989.
Today, Lydia Place is a much larger organization and has adapted over the past decade to meet the growing and changing needs of the community. In addition to the original Transitional Housing Program, Lydia Place now operates the Supportive Services Program, the Whatcom Homeless Services Center Program, and the Emergency House. All of these programs are collaborations with our community partners who are also working to end homelessness in Whatcom County and you can read about all of our programs and the services they provide on our programs and services page.