Low Income Housing Institute
February, 2014


Happy Valentines Day from all of us at LIHI! 

Bellevue Apartments Groundbreaking

Left: Sharon Lee of LIHI, Bill Block of HUD, John Tarrant of NEF, Bellevue City Councilmember Lynne Robinson, Stephen Norman of KCHA, State Rep. Tana Senn, and Bellevue Mayor Claudia Balducci show off the "completed" project.

Right: Bellevue Home Depot Store Associates with Sharon Lee and Alan Castle of the LIHI Board.


On Thursday, January 23, 60 enthusiastic housing supporters joined together in downtown Bellevue to celebrate the groundbreaking of Bellevue Apartments, 57 affordable workforce units available to families and individuals making 60% or less of area median income, including 12 units for homeless people, eight units for veterans, and three units for families with developmental disabilities. Sizes range from studios to three-bedroom apartments.


Among the many fine sentiments expressed at the event, HUD Regional Administrator Bill Block captured the imagination of the assembled by sharing that, "We live in a society where the difference in life expectancy between the richest and poorest zip codes is 10 years. Cities are stronger and healthier when families of all incomes can live near where they work. Projects like Bellevue Apartments improve the lives of all."


Thank you to Wells Fargo and National Equity Fund for sponsoring this event. GGLO is the architect and Synergy Construction is the contractor. Sound Mental Health is the social service provider.

One Night Count Finds 3,123 Unsheltered
Homeless Individuals This Year
Left: The LIHI One Night Count Team; Right: At Westlake Park Lynne Behar, LIHI CFO, strikes the gong for the first time to signify the first person found homeless. The gong is struck for each person found homeless.

On January 24th, between the hours of 2am and 5am, a group of LIHI volunteers and staff participated in King County's annual One Night Count. Our team counted more people without shelter this year than in recent years. Unfortunately other One Night Count teams shared this experience. Together with 900 other volunteers, we discovered that at least 3,123 men, women, and children are without shelter in King County: sleeping on the ground, in makeshift cardboard windbreaks, riding on buses, and camping under bridges and in cars. This number represents a 14% increase compared to last year, and we know this number does not reflect everyone because we do not count everywhere, and because many people take great care not to be visible.


The count is an effort to compare from year to year how as a community we are doing in accomplishing our goal of ending homelessness. The everyday work of ending homelessness--one person, one family, one community at a time--continues, and LIHI and many other organizations need your and your neighbor's involvement year-round to ensure every person in our community has an opportunity to live in a safe, healthy and affordable home. Get involved with LIHI - volunteer, donate, advocate. Each of these links will connect you with opportunities to make a difference in the lives of the 3,123 men, women, and children homeless in our community today.


This annual census of the homeless community in King County is coordinated by the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness (SKCCH). Please visit the SKCCH website for more information and statistics on the One Night Count.

Nickelsville Update: All Families with
Children Have Moved Into Housing

LIHI Case Manager Charese Jones (right) poses for a happy photo with a

family moving out of Nickelsville into LIHI housing

In the 4 months since Nickelsville on Jackson began operation, LIHI case managers have worked tirelessly to find housing for the many families with children that move there and continue to show up with no place to go. The Jackson Street encampment, now combined with the recently closed one on Cherry Street, remains in operation and LIHI continues to prioritize immediate shelter and housing for homeless families with children that show up.


Everyone featured in this video about Nickelsville made in October has now moved into LIHI housing!


Please also see Danny Westneat's Seattle Times column "In fight against homelessness, let's zero in on children," which follows up on his previous column about housing the children from the Nickelsville.

LIHI at Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day
LIHI residents and staff came out in force to advocate for housing for all

Our 28-member Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day (HHAD) delegation had a blast advocating for homes for all in Olympia last month! Residents from seven communities in King, Thurston and Snohomish Counties, volunteers, and staff conducted over 20 legislative visits advocating for a new Housing Trust Fund investment, for protecting and strengthening tenant rights and for funding for services for homeless families and individuals. LIHI was joined by nearly 600 other advocates from 41 different legislative districts who all came together to support our common cause. Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day is coordinated annually by the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance (WLIHA).


Join LIHI the Alliance as we advocate during this short legislative session! Visit the WLIHA Advocacy Site and take a couple minutes to let your legislators know everyone deserves the opportunity to live in a safe, healthy, affordable home!

Volunteer Spotlight
Left: Diana Cater, Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Right: Volunteer having fun at URS

Meet Diana Cater, the Mainstream Services Liason. Diana is from Silverton, Oregon, and is six months into her year of service at the Urban Rest Stop through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. URS patrons call Diana "the housing lady". In addition to helping them look for apartments, Diana also connects patrons with a wide range of social services and job search resources. Additionally, Diana is very involved in helping LIHI create a successful volunteer engagement program at the Urban Rest Stop so we can serve as many members of the homeless community as possible! Read more about Diana's work at the Urban Rest Stop on LIHI's volunteer blog.


Join Diana and make a difference in the lives of people experiencing homelessness - make it your New Year's resolution to volunteer at the Urban Rest Stop! Read all about it on the LIHI Volunteer Page and apply today!


Many LIHI residents and URS patrons benefit from programs powered by phenomenal community volunteers, including three full time AmeriCorps members. These professional volunteers have committed one year of their life to ending homelessness with our organization.


Thanks for your support! 

Sharon Lee
Executive Director

Low Income Housing Institute