When you see people experiencing homelessness, it may be the man on a street corner or a woman under a bridge. But sometimes, they are much younger, even newborn, living in the backseat of a car.
An Eastside charity called Babies of Homelessness tries to make sure their parents have essential items by delivering to needy kids within hours.
Multiple times a week, a volunteer opens up a storage locker in Bothell and searches through the packages of diapers for the suitable size.
"After doing some further research we found that there is a huge diaper gap that exists," said Brittan Stockert, a Babies of Homelessness volunteer and vice chairperson.
"We will basically fill in that gap. We're a crisis emergency team and we'll get out there. If a parent needs a clean diaper to soothe their babe, we'll get it to them immediately," she said.
They serve a growing population and problem.
"When we started two years ago, we'd have two calls per week and now we're down to four calls every day," said Stockert.
Stockert is one of 28 volunteers. A mother of a young child herself, she says their goal is to cut through the red tape to deliver diaper, wipes, and formula to families experiencing homelessness.
"Our philosophy is regardless of what mom and dad have done in the past and what they're doing now, we prioritize the children," she explained. "We get them what they need."
Stockert pulls into a known 'safepark,' a small community of unsheltered families living in cars. The residents asked us not to disclose their location.
What we found here was heartbreaking to see. Amy Williams, 32, has been homeless for a few years. Inside her jeep was her baby, Hannah.
Next to the infant was Williams' 18-year-old sister, who is also pregnant, due at the end of the month.
"Words couldn't explain it even if I tried," said Williams.
A victim of rising rents and a chronic illness, sickle cell anemia, Williams has been living here with her baby, her mother, and five siblings for the last few months.
While a caseworker is trying to find them temporary housing, Stockert supplies them with diapers and wipes on a weekly basis.
As desperate as their situation is, it's hard to look at Hannah's round cheeks and cheerful smile and not be hopeful -- and not want to help.
"When a mom can soothe a baby with a clean diaper, that really gives her a sense of self-worth, competency," said Stockert. "It all allows parents to focus on the bigger picture things."
Stockert estimates they've served about 2,000 families in the past two years. All of the diapers are donated to the charity. Babies of Homelessness is a low-barrier charity, so volunteers deliver these diapers no questions asked.
Stockert said what they really need are volunteers to help answer the phones and deliver to families.
If you'd like to donate or volunteer, contact Babies of Homelessness directly.