A record smashing night

Three weeks ago Imagine Housing hosted their annual Imagine Auction and Benefit Dinner at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue.  More than 430 guests attended this thrilling event to bid on art pieces, wine, dining experiences, travel packages and many other exciting items.  Proceeds from item sales benefit Imagine Housing and our programs to help our residents and neighbors.

After tallying our sales and donations our staff was absolutely flabbergasted when we discovered that we raised more than $475,000 for the event – $30,000 more than our goal for the evening!

We attribute much of this success to the generosity of our audience during our special appeal portion of the night.  During this time, guests are asked to give a gift, without receiving anything in return, to help our residents and neighbors attain a home for themselves and their families.

We realized that this surge in generosity during the special appeal must be credited to our courageous resident speaker, Michelle.  Michelle spoke to our audience about how through finding stability and support at Imagine Housing, she was able to find her inner strength and save her family from the domestic violence that they experienced for years.

As our staff get back to work post-Auction, we pause to reflect on how lucky we are to have such generous and compassionate donors, advocates and friends.

Thank you for making the 2015 Imagine Benefit Auction and Dinner a record smashing night!

~ Monique Vague, Philanthropy Administrator

Priced Out at the UW

This week I looked around to a packed room at Kane Hall at the University of Washington as I took my seat for a highly anticipated panel of experts for the real estate and labor fields. These panelists gathered as a part of a series put forth by The Seattle Times called, “Livewire,” created to directly engage our community in the issues of our time.

There is no debating it: affordable housing and homelessness is a hot topic in the Puget Sound area – for good reason. As one panelist mentioned, there are 100,000 new residents expected to flood the Seattle area in the next decade. With this unprecedented growth comes opportunity to examine the way in which we build our community, and how we can build the infrastructure to support our expanding population.  With one panelist mentioning that only 48,000 new units of housing are expected to hit the market by 2019, many of us in the audience gasped when calculating the huge gaps in housing need moving forward. This need would be on top of the already staggering wait lists for affordable housing that exist now.

The theme of intersectionality wove its way through the conversation. The issue of affordable housing does not exist in a vacuum – you cannot discuss affordable housing without touching the topics of income, policy, education, gender, race, etc. Nelda Richardson, Redfin’s Chief Economist, specifically spoke to the importance of income, “Without income, affordability becomes a lottery.”

Leaving the panel, I was inspired to see so many community members filling a room to discuss a topic that is so important and needs to be addressed now. I was inspired and reminded that there are so many brilliant minds working on making a difference in our community and ensuring everyone has the opportunity to live in a safe, healthy, affordable home.

For more information and to watch the program in its entirety, visit here.

 

~Rachel Voelkle, Operations Coordinator

Birthday celebrations

This month, Andrew’s Heights and Andrew’s Glen will celebrate the one-year anniversaries of their respective after-school programs. Our after-school programs give our youngest residents an opportunity to build a sense of community at their property.

One of the ways our Supportive Services staff has been fostering these relationships is through the celebration of each After-School Programming attendees’ birthdays. Our staff members provide a card and a treat the week a child is celebrating their birthday. Our kids are always eager to sign their friend’s birthday card and the treats are a big hit too!

During program time the kids and staff sing “Happy Birthday” to the child and the Birthday Boy or Girl is given an opportunity to pick that day’s activities. Some of the memorable activities have included dance parties, duck, duck, goose, and hot potato. There is always anticipation in the air when the kids know it is someone’s birthday week.

By celebrating each child’s birthday we show our kids that getting gifts is not the only way to celebrate a birthday. Our Birthday Boys and Girls feel special when they get to be in charge of the activities for the day. This also provides kids with an opportunity to be a leader for the day – helping their self-esteem and making them feel like their input in After-School Programming is important. Due to the success of our birthday parties, our staff at Imagine Housing will continue to celebrate each child’s special day.

~Amy Vogle, Resident Support Specialist

Fried Chicken and Bingo

What’s better than homemade cookies, hand-tossed salad, and fried chicken?

Combining all of those ingredients with a friendly game of bingo of course!

We have a tradition at Andrew’s Glen on the second Wednesday of each month in which our friends at Aldersgate United Methodist Church (located on SE Newport Way) host our community meal. The dinner is spearheaded by Karen Yellman and several other volunteers from the church who began hosting this dinner shortly after the opening of this building in 2011. Some residents call them the “chicken church,” while others call it the “bingo church.” Whatever they are called, it is obvious that the residents of Andrew’s Glen benefit a great deal from their services, and look forward to this dinner each month.

This month’s dinner was no different.

That night, Karen and her team arrived with dinner items and prizes for the bingo game and within a half hour the dining area was buzzing with chatter from the residents excited for the event. It was a full-house.

One of our resident younger residents, an eight-year-old, helped set up for the games and then assisted one of the church members in calling out the numbers. The community room was filled with energy and laughter and occasional shouts of, “BINGO!”

By 7:30 the game ended, but residents lingered to finish up conversations with other residents and church volunteers. It was another successful night filled with fried chicken, bingo, and lots of laughter.

~Monirul Hawke, Resident Support Specialist