By Morgan De Lancy
COVID-19 has left more families at risk of homelessness than ever. “It’s a scary feeling coming home wondering whether the locks have been changed” explains Nawiishtunmi Nightgun, Wellspring’s new Deputy Director of Housing.
She’s seen the struggles families face firsthand and has helped countless families achieve stability. She says with COVID-19, things have only gotten harder. We’re working to fix that. “Wellspring is expanding at a time it’s needed the most,” says Nawiishtunmi.
Currently, Washington state has put a moratorium on evictions. But we know there’s still plenty of work to do. That’s why we’ve pivoted our eviction team to manage COVID-19 relief funds.
This money pays rents so families can stay stable when the moratorium ends. So far, we’ve helped to keep over 3,317 children and parents in their homes during COVID-19. And we’ll keep working, to support families in the challenging months to come.
Once a family has experienced homelessness, their barriers to stability increase. Displacement is traumatic. Getting to work and school becomes more difficult. It’s harder to stay healthy. And with a previous eviction, it’s much harder to find somewhere new to move.
That’s why Wellspring is dedicated to preventing homelessness. Together, we support families still in their homes, so they never have to lose them.“Evictions on records impact families for years. When we can prevent them… That’s life-changing.”
Nawiishtunmi Nightgun is Wellspring's new Deputy Director of Housing. She's an expert on helping families overcome obstacles to housing security.
She comes to Wellspring from Chief Seattle Club. As their Director of Housing, Nawiishtunmi achieved a recidivism rate of 0%, meaning all families stayed housed long term. She is a fierce advocate for equity and justice and works to improve housing support systems in King County and beyond.