Downtown Seattle

Local shelter: 'We had nothing. We were down to one glove'

SEATTLE -- A Seattle organization where homeless mothers bring their kids to escape the cold recently ran out of the critical accessories that keep them warm, and they're asking for help.

Moms who are forced to stuff their belongings in suitcases or strollers know what it's like to go without. Their children know, too.

"We don't have a house, but we are rotating shelters," said 8-year old Jonathan. Four-year old Rayana, who didn't own a pair of gloves said, "It's cold and freezy."

Mary's Place in Seattle provides homeless women and their children a refuge from the cold, a day center where they can receive employment and health services while their children receive transportation to school and breakfast. 

"It's unbearable to have people that are freezing cold. We have 140 women and children at least every day looking to stay warm inside and alive," said Executive Director Marty Hartman.

The center uses its budget to keep the doors open. It banks on donations to provide winter accessories, but Hartman said those donations dried up and Mary's Place called on KOMO 4 Problem Solvers for help.

"We had nothing. We were down to one glove, not even a  pair, just one glove. And so when we reached out and asked you it was lifesaving for you to come to our aid," she said.

Moms leave their shelters at 6 a.m. with kids in tow and catch buses to Mary's Place, where there children are then transported to school after a meal. Before school Tuesday morning, The Problem Solvers delivered four bags of new gloves, hats, and scarves, barely enough for the morning crowd.

"I picked polar bear gloves and a hat that's really thick," said Jonathan. "Cause it keeps my ears warm and my head when it gets really cold."

Mary's Place is still in desperate need of new or gently used socks, scarves and hats, and it can also use more gloves.

The homeless families who know what it's like to feel cold taught the Problem Solver team how warm it feels to help. You can help here.