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More Than 5,700 Families with Children Are Living on the Streets Throughout the Northwest: You Can Help

by Alex Schmidt | Nov 18, 2021

Warm Hearts

Chervonne’s story is similar to the thousands of people throughout the Northwest who face the harsh realities of being unhoused. Desperate to find shelter for herself and her children, she had to navigate a host of increasingly bad options in hopes of finding somewhere safe and warm for her small family.

Luckily, she found Columbia Bank partner, Mary’s Place, where she was offered shelter assistance, and help managing rental issues that were worsened by the global pandemic. With the help of Mary’s Place, by the end of 2020 she was able to find stable housing and, in her words, “have my own place and experience the best feeling in the world – to be able to provide my son his own room.”

Chervonne is one of the many people who has been helped by our annual Warm Hearts Winter Drive. The Warm Hearts Winter Drive rallies local community members to make cash donations or contribute new winter clothing for adults and children at any Columbia Bank branch. Your generosity provides thousands of warm winter wear items and much needed funding to shelters and providers throughout the Northwest.

Now in our seventh year, Columbia Bank has raised nearly $1.5 million for local shelters throughout Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. This year, after completing our merger with Merchants Bank of Commerce, we are thrilled to add Northern California to our family of communities working to provide support to the unhoused.

This year, we expect to serve more people than ever due to the lingering effects of COVID-19 on local economies. Our partner agencies are preparing for a record number of families experiencing homelessness this winter. According to Marty Hartman, Executive Director of Mary’s Place, “We are anticipating a huge number of families seeking support and resources as eviction moratoriums expire and the pandemic continues to negatively impact families across the state. Our Rapid Response Fund, which will draw directly from Columbia Bank’s Warm Hearts Winter Drive, will go to help families keep their hard-earned homes, or move them into housing from cars, tents, and temporary shelter.”

We are so fortunate to continually see the support and generosity of our clients, employees, and communities who support the Warm Hearts Winter Drive. This year we’ve set our goal to raise $250,000 for families battling homelessness, and we need your help to make it happen. To get involved, stop by your local Columbia Bank or Merchants Bank of Commerce branch or donate online. The funds we raise support more than 65 shelters across Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California, and your donations go directly to your local community. To learn more about how you can help those in need during the upcoming cold winter, visit:


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