Networking and Partnerships Improving the Eastside

Leadership Eastside (LE) is a two-year leadership program for community members that live, work and/or volunteer on the Eastside.  The organizations mission is to promote connections, develop and enrich leaders, and be a catalyst for communities to address important issues and meet the challenges of a diverse and dynamic region.

Every year LE asks the Eastside community to nominate candidates for the program with experience in leadership gained through their work or volunteering experience and passion for their community.  Candidates go through a screening process and class members are selected to represent the diversity of the community.  In the first year, the class participates in regularly scheduled Leader Days, learning the principles and practices of Adaptive Leadership.  In year two, participants advance to Learning Laboratories and devote time and passion in teams to create and implement a project that benefits a need in the community.

Imagine Housing is privileged to have members of their team participate in Leadership Eastside’s two-year Leadership Enrichment Program.  Earlier this year Ann Levine, Executive Director, and Eric Dow, Imagine Housing’s Board of Directors, graduated from the program.  Suzanne Koval, the Director of Assets, and Jeff Churchill, the Vice President of the Board of Directors, will be graduating this spring.  Molly Statham, Resident Support Supervisor and Sara Cox, Operations Coordinator are finishing their first year of the program.

Class members gain a powerful set of leadership skills during their participation in the Leadership Enrichment program.  The unique environment brings together leaders from the community, government, for profit, and nonprofit sectors to teach Adaptive Leadership, a framework that helps individuals and organizations adapt and thrive in challenging environments.  The class learns to be able to individually and collectively take on the gradual and meaningful process of adaptation to bring about a real change to present circumstances.

After practicing these skills in our personal and professional lives, classes work in cohorts to implement change at a community level.  Some of the many projects have addressed issues around homeless, youth mental health, early childhood reading, youth job preparation, and basic needs.  Imagine Housing is fortunate that in all of these and most other projects directly benefit the communities we are serving.  For example, Imagine Housing’s Board of Director Vice President, Jeff Churchill’s cohort has focused on Kindergarten readiness.  Their campaign is built around understanding what level of awareness exists around Kindergarten readiness and its importance.  They have developed a partnership with Eastside Pathways, a non-profit that mobilizes the community to support children cradle to career.  The campaign has created and implemented a survey to distribute across the Eastside to get a better understanding of the community’s belief on the importance of Kindergarten readiness.  This directly relates to Imagine Housing’s Supportive Services focus on Early Childhood programming and gives us a foundation to work from when implementing our programming.

One of the more powerful skills gained from the LE experience is the partnerships developed through networking. Jeni Craswell, Imagine Housing’s Director of Philanthropy, happens to be the President of the Board of Directors for Leadership Eastside.  It was through LE that she was first introduced to Imagine Housing through networking with Ann during her first year in the program.  Imagine Housing was also fortunate to welcome Eric Dow to the Board of Directors through the same outlet.

Networking has introduced and strengthened Imagine Housings relationships with other non-profits and businesses.  It has provided us the opportunity to develop new relationships with non-profits, government and the for-profit sector to better serve the needs of our residents.  It has been a great outlet for the Eastside to learn about the organization and its mission. Recently, a Red Vines Board Member, Quiana Ross, represented Imagine Housing on a panel discussing the basic needs of the Eastside to the Leadership Eastside audience.  She highlighted the work of Imagine Housing as well as the needs of the Eastside, providing a great perspective for everyone in the room.  Red Vines is its own separate non-profit organization by Imagine Housing.  It owns and operates Andrew’s Glen and Andrew’s Arms.

We are lucky to be able to partner with such a great Eastside resource as we work to not only provide service supported affordable housing to the Eastside, but to also be able to shape the leaders of the community. Through networking and relationship building, we are able to spread the word not only of our work, but also of the needs that exist on the Eastside. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Leadership Eastside and working, together, to build a stronger Eastside.

~Molly Statham, Resident Support Supervisor at Andrew’s Glen

Call for Volunteers!

Did you know that last year our Imagine Benefit Auction and Dinner raised over $400,000 to support affordable housing with supportive services throughout the Eastside? While months of work go into preparing for the event, Auction night would not be successful without the many volunteers who come together to make the event successful. Around 150 volunteers work each year to register our guests, sell raffle tickets, record and enter bids, and so much more!

This year’s event on April 12th at the Meydenbauer Center needs around 30 more volunteers! Are you available to help? All volunteers will get night-of training, breaks, a lasagna dinner as well as our eternal adoration! Available roles include:

• Registration & Cashiering, 4:15-10:30: This pivotal role is the first and last our guests see! Working in pairs, these volunteers check everyone in, enter all sales throughout the night, and check out our guests at the end

• Raffle, 4:15-7:30: The outgoing volunteers mingle with our guests throughout the silent auction to sell raffle tickets!

• Item Redemption, 7:00-10:30: After the Silent Auction closes, these volunteers work to package up all of the items and tag them with the winning bidder number. They set up the retrieval area and assist guests with finding their items.

• Live Auction, 5:30-10:00: These exciting roles do everything from supporting the auctioneer by tracking the high bid to thanking the winning bidder and running the information to the cashiering crew! Always an exciting place to be!

Are you interested in stepping up to support the 2014 Imagine Benefit Auction & Dinner? Email Angela at!

2014 Imagine Auction… Item Sneak Peek!

We are now just about ONE month out from our annual Imagine  Auction & Benefit Dinner!  This is our largest fundraiser of the year; last year we raised over $400,000 to go towards building affordable housing with supportive services throughout the Eastside.

For the past couple of months, our procurement team, led by our Procurement Chair Lucy Sannes, has been out finding amazing items for all of you to bid on.  We will be posting the catalog in just a few short weeks, but until then here is a sneak peek!


A variety of fabulous wine items, including wines from Betz Family Winery, Avvenia, Elevation Cellars, Hartwell Vineyards and more!

Beatus Hotel & Spa

Travel—both near and far—including a week at the 5 star Beatus Wellness & Spa Hotel in Merligen, Switzerland on Lake Thun… with an 8 day Swiss Rail Pass!
glass pyrograph Art
Beautiful artwork from Jacob Lawrence, Etsuko Ichikawa, board member Abbie Birmingham and others!


This is just the tip of the iceberg!  There are wonderful items available for just about everyone, so register today!

Annual Resident Survey Results

In October 2013, we conducted our annual resident survey.  We sent out a questionnaire to all residents asking them to rate and comment on the service and quality of the housing we provide.  We included a raffle ticket with each questionnaire to generate interest and promote responses. The response rate was very strong, with 41% of residents sending in their responses.

Overall, the portfolio performance rated Excellent in all categories.  Portfolio-wide all responses averaged between Excellent and Satisfactory. 81% of respondents said they would recommend the property to their friends. Our strongest area was courtesy of management staff and the weakest was property cleanliness and appearance (grounds and community spaces). Most residents did provide written comments.  Though many comments were areas we can improve, it is good that residents feel they can offer suggestions and complain a little.

We have addressed the issues raised in the comments and sent feedback to the property management and services staff with suggestions on how to improve in specific areas.  We are changing maintenance staffing amongst the properties so those with the greatest concerns can have increased maintenance presence to address the property grounds more frequently.  In addition, we are changing our landscape maintenance contract to increase the frequency and quality of the work.  Our 2014 capital improvements plan was informed by the resident responses and we are working with the residents to complete repairs and upgrades that are important to them.

~Suzanne Koval, Director of Assets

Joshua Green Foundation Awards Imagine Housing $25,000

This January, Imagine Housing received a grant in the amount of $25,000 from The Joshua Green Foundation in support of our first-ever Capital Campaign.  Through the $2.5M Foundation for the Future Campaign, Imagine Housing’s capacity to meet the need for affordable housing and supportive services in our community will be significantly increased, and we will be strategically positioned for long-term sustainability and growth.  Through the Foundation for the Future Campaign, the community will infuse $2.5 million into three new funds that will expand Imagine Housing’s capacity to meet our mission, serve our residents and sustain 27 years of community investment in this work.  We’d like to take this opportunity to thank The Joshua Green Foundation for continuing their support of organizations like Imagine Housing throughout King County.  You help to make this work possible.

~Kendra Steiner, Annual Fund Manager