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Sharing Your Stories: North Helpline

In light of the recent pandemic, we look forward to sharing positive stories about how our clients and community members are responding. We know this is a challenging time for many, and we are here to support you. We hope that by sharing these very brief stories, others will feel they are not alone. We encourage everyone to lift up one another and share their stories.

North Helpline volunteers sorting donations.

North Helpline‘s mission is to assist their neighbors in obtaining basic needs such as adequate food and housing. We connected with Kelly Brown from North Helpline to learn more about how they are adapting to provide their services amid the COVID-19 pandemic:

“We are really focusing on our food bank program and rent assistance. We have done away with registration processes and are simply giving our neighbors in need groceries. In an effort to make sure we are able to continue serving our community without interruption we have split our staff and volunteers into teams that rotate weeks on and off site. This new model has required us to hire some temp staff and recruit 4x the amount of volunteers. 

Our rent assistance program usually requires an eviction notice but with the moratorium on evictions we are working with our neighbors and their landlords to make sure they don’t fall too far behind on rent. 

We have always known our community is there for their neighbors but have been astounded by our community’s response to this crisis. We had triple the amount of new volunteer applications in March than we normally do!  When the schools closed the principal of Jane Adams reached out offering her staff as volunteers as well as making sure we knew about the other resources of Seattle Public schools. 

We have also learned to be really flexible and responsive to our community’s needs.  Every single staff member has been creating, sharing, and learning new processes.  I am so grateful to be working with this team. As I write this I can hear volunteers talk about how comfortable they are with volunteering here because we have it so together. It is because of our hard working and thinking staff that our community has somewhere they can rely on during this uncertain time. 

To members of the nonprofit community, something I keep telling myself and my staff is this is a marathon and not a sprint. We need to take care of ourselves and be able to sustain the pace we are setting for a while. 

Also, this situation we are in is what reserves are for! Use them!

Purple team is on-site this week and I am working in the office to support the team.  The relief I hear in people’s voices when I tell them we are open and have changed the food bank to comply with social distancing is what keeps me going.”

– Kelly Brown, Executive Director at North Helpline

You can learn more about the North Helpline and how you can support their mission and programs on their website:

We would love to hear how your organization has been adapting to provide services to your clients and how we can support you during this time. Please reach out to us online here.


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