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Bellingham YWCA gets 32 new beds from donors

Wilson's Furniture employees Tony Myers, left, and Dan Stumblingbear move new mattresses into the YWCA building in Bellingham on Wednesday, July 8. The Bellingham Central Lions Club and Wilson’s Furniture in Ferndale donated 32 mattresses plus linens, mattress pads and other furnishings. The YWCA is the largest emergency shelter for women in Whatcom County.
Wilson's Furniture employees Tony Myers, left, and Dan Stumblingbear move new mattresses into the YWCA building in Bellingham on Wednesday, July 8. The Bellingham Central Lions Club and Wilson’s Furniture in Ferndale donated 32 mattresses plus linens, mattress pads and other furnishings. The YWCA is the largest emergency shelter for women in Whatcom County. The Bellingham Herald

It had been so long since the YWCA got new beds, Executive Director Laverne Lane could not even remember the last time. But on Wednesday, July 8, 32 twin mattresses and eight box springs were replaced courtesy of the Bellingham Central Lions Club and Wilson’s Furniture.

“It’s been a long time coming. We just haven’t had the resources,” Lane said. “Most small nonprofit organizations, with the downturn in economy in the last decade, have really been affected in terms of donations.”

But late last fall, the YWCA, located at North Forest and East Maple Streets, was approached by the Lions Club and asked to develop a wish list of immediate needs not normally covered by donations, Lane said.

“For people who’ve grown up in Bellingham, the YWCA has met a huge need all this time,” Lions Club member Marcia DeLorme said. “Rejuvenating and revitalizing the Y is so important for women in the area.”

The club came together and decided to allot $13,200 to purchase mattresses, linens, mattress pads and other bedroom furniture from Wilson’s Furniture in Ferndale to replace the current set-ups, DeLorme said.

The announcement of the replacements garnered a round of applause from current YWCA residents, Lane said.

The YWCA has 36 total beds, four of which had recently been replaced by separate donors, Lane said. Nine rooms are available for women in need of emergency housing, and can be used up to 90 days. An additional 27 rooms are available to women for longer-term, transitional housing, Lane said.

The YWCA building also celebrated its 100-year anniversary in March and has recently been undergoing other renovations to improve showers and air circulation, Lane said.

“There are a lot of good things going on,” Lane said.

The building is currently at about 70 percent capacity; interviews for potential residents are still being conducted every week, Lane said.

Applications for housing at the YWCA can be made through Opportunity Council at 1111 Cornwall Ave., between noon and 4 p.m. Mondays-Friday. For more information, call Opportunity Council at 360-734-5121.

Libby Keller can be reached at 360-715-2242 or libby.keller@bellinghamherald.com.

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