|Summer Newsletter 2014
In this issue:
The Faces of Bellwether: Steve moved to the Rainier Valley in 1987 and has been there ever since... Read more.
Mark Your Calendar!: Please join us for our fourth annual Closer to Home breakfast and show your support of Bellwether’s efforts to help ensure brighter futures for low-income residents, all of whom need an affordable place to call home. Read more.
Sarah Lewontin Recognized: Our Executive Director Sarah Lewontin received the Carla Okigwe Leadership Award at Housing Development Consortium of Seattle-King County’s (HDC) annual luncheon on April 30th. Read more.
Vaughn Retires: On May 1st Vaughn McLeod, Bellwether’s Director of Facilities and Construction, retired after 27 years of service. Read more.
A Generous Gift!: HomeStreet Bank and Davis Wright Tremaine LLP give Bellwether $25,000 from the 2nd Annual Charity Golf Invitational. Read more.
Update from Sarah: It's been a busy summer as the amazing Bellwether team has completed permanent financing for The Parker Apartments in the Queen Anne neighborhood... Read more.
The Faces of Bellwether
Steve & Sandy Bury, former resident Kingway Apartments
Steve moved to the Rainier Valley in 1987 and has been there ever since. He loves being in the community but admits his first apartment wasn’t ideal. “My previous apartment was chaotic, it was rough”, Steve explained. After a few years Steve decided to look around for another apartment. As he explained, “it was an intentional move as the previous apartment was unsafe.” He heard about Kingway Apartments – that it was affordable – and moved there a few years later in the fall of 1990. His new bride, Sandy, joined him about a month later.
Steve went on to say that, although he knew it was affordable, it didn’t occur to him that it was affordable housing. “[Kingway] was a resource for the community. I didn’t feel it was a “project”. And I had a good reception from the resident manager who was a known person in the community.”
Steve and Sandy lived there until late 2002 and have some great memories. Steve shared that, “it felt like we were in a neighborhood and had good relationships with the other residents. It was well-maintained – a nicer building.” He also shared that it, “allowed us to establish our marriage; allowed a young couple to establish solid footing.” One tradition that was established while at Kingway: a Valentine’s Day event. Steve shared that his wife surprised him with a different theme every year and that this has become an annual celebration. The first two “themes” took place while in this apartment.
When asked what words come to mind when thinking of his time at Kingway, Steve immediately came up with several and stated that, “It was warm, friendly, homey, comfortable.” He continued, “we were financially healthy as a result of our time there.”
Living at Kingway Apartments also enabled Sandy to pursue a new career. She dedicated three months unpaid to train as a flight attendant. “We lived a total of seven months without a second income. [Having a reasonable rent] allowed my wife to take a risk”, explained Steve.
It also gave Steve the freedom to take a position with a lower-income salary and, at the same time, provided a “stable place”. Steve worked at Emerald City Outreach Ministries, predecessor to Urban Impact. Being able to afford rent “allowed us to get our financial footing together,” said Steve. And Steve also welcomed the connection to the community. “It helped my relationship with the community and neighborhood because I was a resident. I’m still serving in the community today.”
Steve hopes that the outreach he does at Urban Impact will someday come full circle. “I hope the kids we help today will be able to give back through their community.” And having an affordable apartment like Kingway in the area makes it possible that, in twenty years, this can happen.
Steve and Sandy have taken some things with them, even though they no longer live at Kingway. “It was a foundation for our relationship and a financial foundation that we brought from there”.
Your support changes lives. To find out how you can help more people like Steve and Sandy, visit Bellwether Housing.
Mark Your Calendar!
Thursday, September 18th, 2014
7:30am networking and registration
8:00 – 9:00am program
Marion Oliver McCaw Hall at Seattle Center (new location!)
Our fourth annual Closer to Home breakfast is about a week away! This year’s breakfast will feature a thought-provoking conversation with Chuck Wolfe, a Seattle-based environmental and land use attorney, nationally recognized speaker, and author of Urbanism Without Effort. Come expecting something different.
Join us and show your support of Bellwether’s efforts to help ensure brighter futures for low-income residents, all of whom need an affordable place to call home.
We welcome your participation as a sponsor or table captain. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206-957-2726. Click here for more details.
Sarah Lewontin Recognized
Sarah Lewontin receiving the Carla Okigwe Leadership Award
Our Executive Director Sarah Lewontin received the Carla Okigwe Leadership Award at Housing Development Consortium of Seattle-King County’s (HDC) annual luncheon on April 30th. This special award is given occasionally in honor of the vision and leadership of HDC’s founding Executive Director, Carla Okigwe. Recipients are chosen for their exemplary contributions to the affordable housing movement and a clear commitment to bettering the lives of those struggling and the communities in which they live. Sarah is the third recipient of the award since its inception in 2009 and was recognized for her exceptional contributions to the affordable housing movement in Seattle and throughout King County, WA.
“There are so many people in our region who are leaders in the field of affordable housing. I am humbled and honored to be recognized among them with this award,” said Ms. Lewontin. You can read more here.
Vaughn McLeod with Bellwether Staff
On May 1st Vaughn McLeod, Bellwether’s Director of Facilities and Construction, retired after 27 years of service to Bellwether and Seattle's low-income residents. Vaughn held the record for the employee with the most years at SHRG/HRG/Bellwether! And he has left a unique legacy: Vaughn had a connection with the majority of our apartment buildings. We celebrated his retirement in late April and shared many stories from nearly three decades of experience. Thank you, Vaughn. You’ll be missed!
Donate in Vaughn’s honor to support the legacy of his work.
HomeStreet Bank and Davis Wright Tremaine LLP Give $25,000
DWT’s Executive Committee Chairman, Mark Berry,
with Bellwether’s Executive Director, Sarah Lewontin
Bellwether was thrilled to receive $25,000 from the 2nd Annual Charity Golf Invitational sponsored by HomeStreet Bank and Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. The event, at The Golf Club in Newcastle, Wash., took place on July 9th and was established last year to support the missions of local nonprofits. Bellwether shared the $50,000 total raised with YWCA Seattle King-Snohomish.
“Bellwether has a long history with HomeStreet and DWT and we’re honored to have been chosen to receive such a generous donation,” said Bellwether’s Executive Director, Sarah Lewontin. “This contribution will support our work to provide great affordable places to live for those who need it. And we know that this need is growing throughout this region.”
You can read more details here.
Update from Sarah
It’s been a busy summer as the amazing Bellwether team has completed permanent financing for The Parker Apartments in the Queen Anne neighborhood, maintained our 29 other apartment buildings in great shape for residents, managed the financing and construction of new apartments for Community House Mental Health in Seattle (among other projects), and made significant progress on the strategic plan for Bellwether’s next five years. As Washington cities like Seattle continue to grow, and demand for apartments drives rents up, Bellwether’s strategies are as important as ever – perhaps more important than ever before – to make it possible for people to live affordably near jobs, services and transit. I’m excited to help usher in the next phase of Bellwether’s success through this inclusive and interactive planning process. And it’s all possible because of support from people like you – thank you!
|Bellwether Housing is a 501(C)3 nonprofit organization, tax ID 91-1116960. All contributions are tax deductible to the extent of the law.
1651 Bellevue Ave, Seattle, WA 98122 206.623.0506 bellwetherhousing.org
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