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  • Azeb's Story

    Azeb is a single mom who works as a janitor at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Azeb and her 12-year-old son lost their housing and first tried living with her sister. That didn’t work out and they ended up in a homeless shelter. “Nobody helped me. As a single mom, it’s hard. I have a little bit of a problem with my leg and am disabled. I work but my salary is a little low,” said Azeb. Thankfully, last year Azeb and her son were able to move into Kingway–one of Bellwether Housing’s apartment buildings in Rainier Valley. Liya, a Resident Services Coordinator, told Azeb about King County’s Housing Access and Services Program (HASP), which helps individuals with disabilities access Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers. A Section 8 voucher allows a person to pay between 30% and 40% of their income towards rent and utilities. Azeb is excited that she received a HASP voucher to help pay rent. She and her son really like their apartment. “Liya has helped me a lot. Thank you so much to Bellwether. I really appreciate everything you do,” said Azeb. Our Resident Services Coordinators play essential roles in supporting our residents and preventing homelessness. Besides helping to secure rental assistance, they help with things like finding affordable childcare and enrollment assistance for benefits such as SNAP, Orca Lift, and Medicaid/Medicare. They also build partnerships with local organizations that bring new skills to residents (like swim lessons) and build community. And so much more! Please donate to support Bellwether Housing. Together, we can help our neighbors, like Azeb and her son, find home and build stable, thriving lives.

  • Seeding Change, Harvesting Homes: 2022 Annual Report

    “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” Bellwether Housing and our supporters believe in a tomorrow in which everyone in our community has access to a safe, stable and affordable home; in which everyone has a home in which they can build their own tomorrow. Thank you for the seeds you have planted with us! Our 2022 Annual Report highlights buildings that are the fruits of the Building Opportunity Campaign, which will have sprouted nearly 1,000 new homes in just three years. And our resident services program continues to find new ways to support and enrich the lives of our residents. Together, we are master gardeners! Thank you for believing in tomorrow and for supporting Bellwether Housing and our residents.

  • Behind the Scenes: Why Alex, Yvette, and Todd love their work!

    Get to know three of our staff members: Alex, Yvette, and Todd.

  • Plymouth Housing and Bellwether Housing Celebrate First AffordableHigh-Rise Development in 50 Years

    Blake House and The Rise on Madison provide 362 total units of new housing On May 23, Plymouth Housing and Bellwether Housing, nonprofits that provide permanent supportive housing and affordable housing, respectively, celebrated the opening of the first affordable high-rise in Seattle in more than 50 years with a ribbon cutting ceremony and tours of the 17-story tower. Karen Lee, CEO of Plymouth Housing, Susan Boyd, CEO of Bellwether Housing, Julie Timm, CEO of Sound Transit, and Rep. Frank Chopp gave remarks on the importance of partnership in providing solutions to ending the homelessness crisis in King County and the positive impact the building will have on the lives of residents and the First Hill community. The ambitious effort was made possible by a $0 land transfer from Sound Transit in 2018. In addition to its proximity to health care providers in the neighborhood, Plymouth is partnering with Swedish Health Services to provide onsite health care services, including behavioral health services, to residents. “Today we have reason to celebrate. This building is proof that we can make real strides toward ending homelessness in our region” said Karen Lee, CEO of Plymouth Housing. “When we came to Sound Transit with an idea for this site, they understood how important it was to provide homes for people experiencing chronic homelessness. When we asked Bellwether to join us, we gained a partner who is doing transformative work providing homes for individuals and families. And of course, we wouldn't be here today if it weren't for our community, and the support of the First Hill neighborhood.” Within the 17-floor building are two distinct apartment complexes. Plymouth will operate Blake House on floors two through five, with a total of 112 studio apartments focused on serving seniors and veterans who have experienced chronic homelessness. In addition to three live-in staff apartments, Blake House features three community rooms, a second-floor outdoor courtyard and a computer lab for residential use. Named for a long-time local housing advocate, Blake House honors the legacy of Blake Nordstrom. For more than 25 years, Blake Nordstrom contributed his time and energy toward various efforts to end homelessness in Seattle. As supporters of Plymouth Housing, Blake and the Nordstrom family both championed Plymouth’s mission in the community and invested in programs that benefited Plymouth residents, including an economic empowerment program at Nordstrom Rack for residents of Plymouth’s former Gatewood Hotel on 1st and Pine Street. Bellwether will operate The Rise on Madison (The Rise) on floors six through 17. The Rise will provide 250 homes affordable to families making 60% or less of area median income with 10% of those homes featuring two and three bedrooms. Rents will range from $1,015 for a studio to $1,783 for a three-bedroom unit. There is a large community room on floor 17 featuring a full kitchen, a large screen television, ample seating and sweeping views of the Sound. It’s complimented by a large outdoor patio off the main sitting area. The Rise also features a computer lab and a children’s play area. Together, the building provides a total of 362 supportive and affordable housing units. “This development represents so much of what is great about Seattle—support for an innovative development that will serve a broad range of needs, collaboration among committed partners, and a deep commitment to ensure that lower income people have a place in this city,” Bellwether CEO Susan Boyd said. “I’m grateful for our state and local government leaders who made this development a priority, to neighborhood leaders who were active proponents of the project, and to the brilliant and committed staff at Plymouth and Bellwether Housing who worked so hard to make this happen.” A historic and diverse neighborhood, First Hill is densely populated with hospitals, medical clinics and higher learning institutions. The location of First Hill will be familiar to residents, many of whom have experienced homelessness within the city, while offering access to shopping, job opportunities and transit hubs. Located on Madison Street at Boylston Avenue, the new building is within walking distance of light rail, the streetcar and major bus lines, providing easy access to the city. "The opening of The Rise on Madison and Blake House is the culmination of years of innovative collaboration to bring affordable housing to the heart of First Hill,” said Sound Transit Board Chair and King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Sound Transit is pleased to have partnered with this project by donating the property, which will now provide more than 350 homes to improve the lives of low- and middle-income individuals and families, as well as seniors and veterans who have experienced chronic homelessness. With its proximity to public transit and ready access to jobs and medical care, this project stands as a shining example of equitable transit-oriented development.” Rep. Frank Chopp remarked, “This project, with The Rise on Madison and Blake House sharing the site, is a shining example of how affordable, transit-oriented housing should be accomplished. Working with Enterprise Community Partners and the Home & Hope program, I enacted a state law mandating surplus Sound Transit property be used for affordable housing. Utilizing that law, we acquired this property for free and partnering with Bellwether Housing, Plymouth Housing, and many public funders, we built a spectacular model for social housing in Washington state. Congratulations to all.” Blake House was funded with 9% low-income housing tax credit equity as well as funding from the City of Seattle, King County, the State of Washington, and the Federal Home Loan Bank. Additionally, Plymouth Housing utilized $4.5 million from its successful PROOF campaign to support the development of this project. The Rise was funded with tax-exempt bonds, 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity and private debt as well as funding from the City of Seattle, King County, and the State of Washington. In addition, Bellwether raised $10 million from local philanthropists and private impact-investors to support a series of developments including The Rise. About Bellwether Housing Bellwether Housing is the largest private, nonprofit affordable housing provider in Seattle. Bellwether has developed, owned and operated housing for low-income individuals, families, seniors and households transitioning out of homelessness since 1980 --in total, 3,000 apartments in 35 (and counting) buildings serving over 5000 people throughout Seattle and South King County. About Plymouth Housing Plymouth Housing’s mission is to eliminate homelessness and address its causes by preserving, developing and operating safe, quality, supportive housing and by providing adults experiencing homelessness with opportunities to stabilize and improve their lives. Plymouth follows the “Housing First” philosophy, operating on the principle that people cannot improve their lives until they have a safe, stable place to live.

  • Bellwether Housing to build 333 affordable, transit-oriented homes at the Overlake Village Station

    Redmond, one of this region’s most expensive places to live, will soon be home to 333 new affordable homes. Following a competitive process requesting proposals from affordable housing developers, Sound Transit has selected Bellwether Housing to develop transit-oriented, affordable rental housing adjacent to the Overlake Village Station, near the Microsoft campus in Redmond. “Transit connects people to community, to housing, to jobs, to education, to food, to health care, to recreation. When transit and development partner to include diverse and affordable communities directly adjacent to quality light rail stations, these people-centered connections become exponentially more vibrant, sustainable, and equitable for the entire region,” said Sound Transit CEO Julie Timm. “We are proud to collaborate with Bellwether Housing and the City of Redmond on this transformative project.” State law requires Sound Transit to commit much of the surplus land resulting from station development to affordable housing. To date 1,150 affordable homes have been developed or are under development on former Sound Transit property. “We applaud Sound Transit’s creative use of property near the Overlake Village Station and welcome Bellwether Housing to Redmond,” said Mayor Angela Birney. “Affordable housing paired with a range of community services near light rail is essential in achieving our vision of complete and equitable neighborhoods. This is another great example of what working together and leveraging partnerships can do for the betterment of our community.” Bellwether’s proposal features rents affordable to households with incomes between 30% and 80% of the area median income. For a 2-bedroom apartment, that means rent will range from about $800 to $2,000, in a community where rent is typically more than twice as high as the national average. The project will include 120 2- and 3-bedroom apartments for larger families. “This is exactly what we need to be doing – density, affordability, community partners – near great schools, world class transit, and a great job market. Communities need this. Families need this. And we are honored to be supporting Sound Transit and the City of Redmond’s housing equity goals,” said Susan Boyd, Chief Executive Officer of Bellwether Housing. Bellwether is partnering with Hopelink, the eastside’s largest social service agency, to provide supportive services to residents who need them. “Too often, families experiencing poverty are priced-out of centrally located neighborhoods. As a result, our communities miss out on the value of their presence and contributions to those communities,” said Dr. Catherine Cushinberry, Chief Executive Officer of Hopelink. “With this partnership, families will be closer to good jobs, great schools, and able to participate more in what will be our shared communities. We know how vital access to quality services are to all families as they settle into a place they can call home. Hopelink is excited to walk alongside residents as they develop this stability and is proud to partner with Bellwether Housing and Sound Transit in this critical work for our region.” The project will also include large community and retail spaces on the ground floor. One Redmond, the Redmond Police Department, and Indian American Community Services plan to occupy and activate those ground floor spaces with services to support public safety, small businesses, and the cultural and recreational needs of the neighborhood. Photo courtesy of VIA – a Perkins Eastman Studio. ### About Bellwether Housing Bellwether Housing is the largest private, nonprofit affordable housing provider in Seattle. Bellwether has developed and operated housing for low-income individuals, families, seniors and households transitioning out of homelessness since 1980. We serve over 6,000 residents in 2,900 apartments throughout Seattle. About Sound Transit Sound Transit builds and operates express buses, light rail and commuter train services for the central Puget Sound region so that people can get to where they are going safely and economically. About Hopelink Since 1971, Hopelink has provided stability-building services for people experiencing poverty in North and East King County. The agency provides nine comprehensive services that work in tandem, supporting community members as they work to exit poverty. These services include food assistance, housing, financial capabilities, employment services, transportation, energy assistance, financial assistance, adult education, and family development.

  • Transgender Awareness Week

    Editorial Note: This post is part of our blog series about diversity, equity, and inclusion. These posts are written by staff on our Equity Committee and originally shared internally. We're sharing them publicly to be transparent about our internal dialogue, reflections and learning process as we work on being an anti-racist organization. Transgender Awareness Week runs every year from November 13 to November 19. People and organizations around the country participate in Transgender Awareness Week to help raise the visibility of transgender people and address issues members of the community face (source). (image source) How does Bellwether Housing fit into Transgender Awareness Week? Every one of us plays a role in helping people feel like they have a place here and are welcomed. Bellwether employees may be trans themselves and/or have worked with current or prospective tenants who are transgender. Here’s one employee’s memory of an interaction with a resident where simply asking for pronouns helped assure the resident they were being heard and respected: A tenant came into the office one morning, tense and visibly upset. They weren’t getting responses to any emails they sent to management, and were worried it was because they were trans as they had experienced discrimination in their past. As this person finished their explanation, I said, “May I ask your pronouns?” With a smile, they answered, “He, him.” As I gave him a quick thank you, offered my own pronouns, and started talking about how I could help, his shoulders relaxed and we came to agree on some next steps. Aside from following fair housing law and having respectful daily interactions with trans tenants, what else has Bellwether done to make our buildings more welcoming and safer for trans residents? In 2022, the Property Management team created a voluntary supplemental demographics survey for residents which includes gender identity fields. Read here to learn about why data collection is so important for the LGBTQ community. In 2020, Bellwether’s HR & IT team worked together to add employees’ pronouns to email signatures on a voluntary basis. Property Management overhauled the requirements in our tenant screening application in 2019, and again in 2020 and 2021 to be less restrictive. These changes benefit trans people, who disproportionately face homelessness and incarceration. Here are some ways the requirements changed: Lessened prior eviction restrictions Lessened qualifying income requirements Eliminated need to provide outside proof of bank account amounts Since 2014, Real Estate Development has included all-gender bathrooms in resident common areas of new developments instead of gender-segregated ones. What are things Bellwether could do in the future? Recommend or sponsor LGBTQ-specific trainings for employees Currently, our resident data collection system will only accommodate male, female, and declined to report when it comes to demographics information. Bellwether could advocate that the vendor who provides this system to update their software to reflect more inclusive gender options, such as the “X” gender that is now available for U.S. passports, Washington State licenses, and WA birth certificates (source). More resources: To learn more about transgender people and issues important to them, check out GLAAD's trans facts. This is a great resource for how to be an ally, too. If you prefer to watch instead of read, check out this post from USA Today and these short videos from It Gets Better. For info about transgender people and the workplace, check out Out & Equal. This site also has resources in Spanish and Portuguese. To learn about transgender students and issues important to them, check out GLSEN. This is also a great resource for educators and parents.

  • Supporting Residents Through an Impossible Time

    By Alanna, Resident Services Coordinator, Bellwether Housing Hi. I’m a Resident Services Coordinator with Bellwether. I work with residents to support them in a lot of different ways, including securing rental assistance; finding affordable childcare; enrollment assistance for benefits such as SNAP, Orca Lift, and Medicaid/Medicare; and so much more. We also work hard to build partnerships with local organizations that help us to bring new skills to residents and to help build community. The other side of our work is helping our community through crisis. We were able to partner with the Fire Department and International Community Health Service to bring COVID vaccine clinics to our residents, especially our most vulnerable seniors. I also help connect families with swim lessons. Swim lessons are one piece of the puzzle of saving lives and building stability for families in our region. At Bellwether Housing, we put many pieces together by coupling housing with services to provide a strong foundation for our residents to grow, stabilize, rebuild, and thrive. The pandemic truly put a lens on how important our services are for residents. Many of our residents had to navigate job loss and lack of childcare, and for many who live paycheck to paycheck, this was a huge blow to how their household’s progress. With the connections we made with the city and the federal COVID relief funding, we were able to help residents pay their rent, secure food, and get them the resources needed to get through what some would consider an impossible time. Being a Resident Services Coordinator I can say has been some of the most rewarding work I have ever had the pleasure of doing. It is not always easy to let people into your lives, but our residents do just that. They let us know about the vulnerable parts of their lives, they let us intervene when they need us, and they us be a small part of their story. After many years serving our residents, it is bittersweet to say that I am in transition to becoming a full-time birth and postpartum doula; where I will also be partnering with non-profits to do community doula work. Although, if I never came to Bellwether, I would never have known what it truly means to serve your community. This work is so much more than just providing resources, we are here to listen when someone is struggling, we are here to be a smiling face when someone needs it, and we are here to create solutions. Please donate to Bellwether so we can create new homes and support residents. Creating permanent affordable housing is the way for us to tackle the puzzle of our region’s affordable housing crisis. Every dollar donated is one piece that will help ensure that people live in great neighborhoods, near job centers, parks, and great schools. Every dollar will ensure folks like Rachell and Maya get to be involved in solving this big puzzle and shaping our community’s future. I want to thank everyone for supporting the Bellwether mission.

  • UW and SHA tap Bellwether Housing to build mixed-income development in U District

    The University of Washington and the Seattle Housing Authority today announced that Bellwether Housing has been selected to develop a mixed-income high-rise of about 240 units in the University District, pending approval by the UW Board of Regents. Once completed, the 16-story project will provide a childcare space and much-needed housing for faculty and staff, as well as others who want to take advantage of the central location, in the 4200 block of Roosevelt Way Northeast, near the UW campus and multiple transit options. “Our university is dedicated to helping the communities we serve become more diverse, equitable and livable, and that begins right here in our own U District neighborhood, where we urgently need affordable, quality housing,” said UW President Ana Mari Cauce. “We are especially excited about the opportunities this will create for university faculty and staff and their families to live and have access to childcare in close proximity to our Seattle campus.” Bellwether plans to use a mix of public and private funding to create this mixed-income community. Both funding sources support each other to make the project feasible, allowing Bellwether to maximize the development capacity of the site without straining existing public financing sources. “We are thrilled that the UW shares our vision for this site — to provide about 240 low- and moderate-income families with affordable, high-quality, transit-oriented homes in the heart of a vibrant neighborhood. Our mixed-income model allows us to leverage this opportunity to create as many new homes as possible in this city that needs as much affordable housing as we can build,” said Bellwether Housing CEO Susan Boyd. Initial plans are to serve households earning between 60% to 100% of Area Median Income, or AMI. A majority of the units, 163, are earmarked for families at around 60% of AMI, with the remainder reserved for the so-called “missing middle” at between 80% and 100% of AMI. Having a range of incomes in one building best serves UW employees and the community by increasing diversity and housing options, Cauce said. There are limited housing choices available to those whose income disqualifies them from special programs for low-income households, but still isn’t enough to be competitive in Seattle’s booming housing market. By creating the “missing middle” housing, more of the UW workforce will be able to live near their jobs, reducing the time, expense and environmental costs of long commutes. In 2017, UW approached the Seattle Housing Authority about partnering on development of the property, given SHA’s extensive experience in developing affordable housing. “We are excited to be working collaboratively with the University of Washington on this project,” said Rod Brandon, SHA’s executive director. “We have had great success in developing mixed-income communities and think this approach will best meet the needs of the neighborhood, and people who need to live there but are otherwise priced out. Bellwether is exactly the right partner to help bring this vision to life.” The building will include 65 two- and three-bedroom apartments for larger families, an outdoor space, shared play area, common room and other residential amenities. Plans also are in place for a 7,318-square-foot childcare facility on the ground floor with a separate drop-off zone and its own outdoor play area. The half-acre property is owned by the UW, and the UW will ground lease the land to Bellwether. The existing residential and commercial structures will be demolished to make space for the new construction. If approved, construction is scheduled to begin by December 2024. ### Caption: The UW and the Seattle Housing Authority selected Bellwether Housing to develop a 16-story, mixed-income building at the corner of Northeast 42nd Street and Roosevelt Way Northeast. A conceptual rendering of the proposed building is shown here. Credit: Anita Lehmann

  • Bellwether Housing and Mercy Housing Northwest Celebrate the Opening of Cedar Crossing

    SEATTLE — Bellwether Housing and Mercy Housing Northwest will celebrate the opening of Cedar Crossing, their new 254-apartment affordable housing development at 6600 Roosevelt Way NE, this Wednesday, September 14, 2022, from 9:30 to 11:00 AM. Cedar Crossing will be home to an estimated 600 adults and children and is adjacent to the Roosevelt Link light rail station, offering unparalleled access to transit. The development also includes 13,449 sq. ft. of ground floor commercial space. Cedar Crossing features innovative community partnerships with the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association, Sound Transit, El Centro de la Raza, Mary’s Place, and Seattle Children’s Hospital. “This development is a beautiful example of what I call profound collaboration – a committed group of neighbors, public agencies, and housing providers listening to one another, developing a shared vision, and dedicating their time, energy and money to something transformative,” said Susan Boyd, CEO of Bellwether Housing. Cedar Crossing creates affordable homes for families who struggle to find housing options in the current market. The building includes 91 two- and three-bedroom apartments. Three-bedroom apartments were pre-leased quickly, highlighting the intense demand for larger, affordable apartments. A public plaza creates a sense of place in the neighborhood and provides pedestrian access to the light rail station. The building features a playground, social service offices, ground floor retail, and a large community room for celebrations and gatherings. Mercy Housing Northwest will provide robust resident services at Cedar Crossing. Their staff will collaborate with families to identify areas of strength and create programs that support them in their housing stability. “Mercy Housing is truly excited to be part of Cedar Crossing and helping to support the Roosevelt neighborhood. The glow we see on people’s faces when we are giving them tours of their new homes and amenities is truly priceless,” said Cole Kiser, Resident Services Manager. “The sense of joy and hope is further amplified when hearing residents talk about activities they wish to see at our event programs and how they imagine using the pavilion and community room. We foresee a powerful and purposeful future and are truly happy to be involved in building stronger neighborhoods through connection and engagement.” El Centro de La Raza operates a 6,443 sf. multi-cultural, bilingual affordable childcare on site, with capacity to serve 68 children. The childcare was made possible through the generous support of the City of Seattle Human Services Department, the State of Washington Department of Commerce, and the Washington Community Reinvestment Association. In a partnership with Seattle Children’s Hospital, Mary’s Place and Ronald McDonald House, 20 apartments are set aside for families experiencing housing instability whose children have received or continue to receive care at Seattle Children’s Hospital. FamilyWorks will open a Family Resource Center, bringing complimentary services on-site and ensuring additional services vital to the health and stability of residents are available right outside families' front doors. Cedar Crossing was made possible by Sound Transit and the Seattle Office of Housing, who partnered by offering the property at a discounted land price and committed $15 million in funds from the Seattle Office of Housing including Seattle Housing Levy dollars. Cedar Crossing is also financed by The City of Seattle Office of Housing and Human Services Department, King County, the Seattle Housing Authority, the Washington State Department of Commerce, Umpqua Bank, Washington Community Reinvestment Association, federal low-income housing tax credits purchased by U.S. Bank CDC and a tax-exempt loan provided by U.S. Bank and Citibank. About Bellwether Housing: Bellwether Housing is a Seattle’s largest nonprofit affordable housing provider. Bellwether has developed, owned, and operated housing for low-income individuals, families, seniors and households transitioning out of homelessness since 19802400 households in 35 buildings in King County. About Mercy Housing Northwest: Since 1991, Mercy Housing Northwest (MHNW) has provided affordable homes to people with low incomes, including families, seniors, people who have experienced homelessness, and people with disabilities. With 54 properties in Washington and Idaho, MHNW serves more than 5,600 people every day. MHNW supplements much of its housing with Resident Services, programs that help residents build stable lives. MHNW is a regional branch of Mercy Housing, Inc. (MHI), a leading national affordable housing nonprofit headquartered in Denver, CO. Quotes From Project Collaborators and Partners: City of Seattle, Office of Housing “Projects like Cedar Crossing help make us an inclusive and connected City that prioritizes community development, and ensures that public investments create opportunities for low-income households,” said Maiko Winkler-Chin Director of the Office of Housing, “Thanks to our partners Bellwether Housing, Mercy Housing Northwest and Sound Transit, Cedar Crossing delivers new affordable homes with on-site childcare and ground-floor retail space, with easy access to transit at the Roosevelt Light Rail Station.” The Roosevelt Neighborhood Association (RNA) “The RNA is very proud of all those in the community who took part in our workshops, through which we created the Community Principles that were the basis for Sound Transit’s Request fir Proposal for this site,” says Jay Lazerwitz, Land Use Chair of the RNA. “These principles included strong advocacy for 100% affordable housing, a daycare facility, and other community benefits. Seeing how these have been manifested in the Cedar Crossing development is an amazing sight; a sign of how the community came together to support low-income residents within our larger community, and in support of the regional investment in public transportation." El Centro de la Raza “El Centro de la Raza’s Jose Marti Child development Center is thrilled to be given the honor to engage in a partnership with Mercy Housing Northwest and Bellwether Housing,” said Estela Ortega, Executive Director. “We have a reputation of providing high-quality child-development learning in large part due to our caring and experienced staff. We promote unconditional love for all children, respect for diversity, social justice, and family involvement.” Seattle Children’s Hospital “With housing stability, the relief children and parents feel is palpable and greatly impacts their involvement in the medical journey,” said Kathryn Thurber-Smith, LICSW, Social Work Clinical Supervisor at Seattle Children’s. “I believe breaking down barriers to housing will result in more equitable access to healthcare and to other resources that come with being a part of a stable community.” Mary’s Place "Families who have lost so much, including their homes, while caring for a medically fragile child need a safe, healthy, stable place to call home,” said Marty Hartman, Executive Director of Mary’s Place, a family homelessness service and shelter provider. We are grateful and honored to be a part of this project that provides much needed affordable housing and critical supportive services for families in our community.”

  • Putting the Pieces Together

    There’s nothing quite like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. It can be challenging, detailed, and yet rewarding as pieces get slotted into place and a larger picture emerges. As we share in our 2021 Annual Report, Putting the Pieces Together, 2021 was a lot like building a complicated puzzle. We continued to recover from the pandemic, launched a resident scholarship fund, acquired several buildings and broke ground on several more, and supported our residents with a growing resident services program. It was a busy year, and each piece of the puzzle gets us closer to our goal to double the number of families we serve by 2025. We couldn’t have done it all without your support – thank you for being essential pieces in our puzzle!

  • Seniors Visit Van Gogh Immersive

    A group of seniors living at Meridian Manor recently had a delightful afternoon outing to the Vincent Van Gogh Immersive Experience. The group enjoyed soaking in the work of Van Gogh, learning about the artist's life, and experiencing immersive and virtual reality displays of his art. Residents posed for photos with each other and their Resident Services Coordinator, who was leading the trip. The outing was made possible by a grant from Horizon House, supporting artistic and cultural programming at our building serving seniors.

  • Black History Month 2022 - William Grose

    For #BlackHistoryMonth20222, we're highlighting how intentionally discriminatory housing policies segregated Seattle and the lasting impact they have had on Seattle’s communities of color today. We also highlighting the activism and advocacy of the Black community to make housing in Seattle fair and equitable for everyone. Today, for #BlackHistoryMonth2022, we are celebrating William Grose. In 1882, Grose became the first Black landowner in Seattle and is known as the founder of the Central District. A successful entrepreneur, he bought 12 acres of land in Madison Valley. He lived there with his wife, Sarah; son, George; and daughter, Rebecca. Sarah and Rebecca were the first Black female residents of Seattle. The Grose’s house still stands today at 24th and Howell. Here's a selection of news clips about William Grose's impact on Seattle: “Grose let other black folks build homes on his property as racist housing practices took hold and kept minority settlers from living in many other areas. William’s land, which couldn’t be restricted because it was his private property, became a spot where Seattle’s growing black community could flourish, says University of Washington professor James Gregory, who directed the school’s Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project.” - The Evergrey ‘In addition to building his own house, Grose subdivided the rest of his 12 acres, giving lots to family and friends, selling others. There was much opposition to the influx of Black neighbors on the part of the white residents of the Madison area. Finally, they decided to sell, but not to rent to the newcomers.” - The Seattle Times “When the Madison Street Cable Car began service in 1889, it made the area accessible to other citizens and more Black families began to move into the area and started a community. For the next 50 years, Madison Valley and the hill up to 23rd would continue to be the geographic heart of the city’s African American community. Discrimination helped make sure it stayed that way, even as thousands of new black families moved to the area during World War II. That discrimination, most of it informal but strictly enforced, made the Central Area the city’s only major African American community because it was the only place where Black folks were allowed to live up until very recent times.” - Central District News After years of community activism, Africatown Land Trust is turning historic Fire Station Six into the William Grose Center for Enterprise and Cultural Innovation, to continue Grose’s legacy and celebrate his contributions to Seattle the CD. More about William Grose: This Pioneer Worked the Underground Railroad and Settle the Central District All Over The Map: The story of William Grose, one of Seattle’s earliest black entrepreneurs CityStream: William Grose Center - Fire Station 6

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