GiveBig funds EMERGE Leadership training for LiHi affordable housing designer

Monica1GiveBig2016-LogoWith funds from GiveBig 2015, the EMERGE Leadership Project was able to offer Monica Joe, Housing Development Associate at Low Income Housing Institute (LiHi) a full scholarship for training and mentoring support. The intent of the scholarship is to help affordable housing designers like Monica be more effective in their efforts to provide affordable shelter and reduce homelessness.

LiHi has been developing and operating housing for low-income, homeless, and formerly homeless people in Washington State since 1991. The organization also advocates for just housing policies, which is what attracted Monica to the organization after receiving her Master’s in Urban Planning in 2015.  She assists LiHi with housing development, funding applications, and architectural drawings and coordinates the organization’s Tiny House project. The Tiny House project, a combined effort of LiHi with Nickelsville, SHARE/Wheel, the City of Seattle, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd Housing Alliance aims to offer safer and more sound shelter alternatives in homeless encampments.

Monica says that the EMERGE Leadership Training helps her in this collaborative work: “We need to be experimental with our tiny house project, and to be open to seeing what works and what doesn’t together with our partners….I’m feeling less need to be controlling.”

Monica was “pleasantly surprised” at the emphasis in EMERGE on leadership tools and expertise over technical aspects of sustainability, as well as “connecting” with a more diverse support network. “It was really cool to meet professionals at different stages of their career and in different aspects of the building and design industry.”

Perhaps even more impressive is the question Monica now feels supported in bringing into every design discussion at LiHi: “‘Are we trying to create a community or are we just housing people.’ EMERGE helps me be more thoughtful in my leadership efforts.”

With GiveBig 2016 funding,  The EMERGE Leadership Project plans to continue providing leadership development and support to non-profits working for social justice in the built environment. Please consider contributing to the EMERGE Leadership Project a 501c3 charitable project at: Any amount will be appreciated and the beauty of Give Big is that all contributions are stretched by a pool available to non-profits registered with the Seattle Foundation.