Mission

We invite all of us to come closer, and to contribute our unique passions and skills toward the effort of ending homelessness.

 

History

Facing Homelessness began its journey in 2010, with a belief that we can and will end homelessness when we invite community to be a part of the solution. The power in humanizing homelessness is that it allows all of us to see the beauty of each person living on our streets, rather than fixating on the complexity of an issue that overwhelms us. This realization became evident to our founder, Rex Hohlbein, when he began inviting folks living homeless into his architecture office for conversation. He shares that, "The negative stereotype against the homeless was not matching up to the beauty of those I was meeting." From those encounters Rex began the Facing Homelessness Facebook page, sharing black and white photos with stories of people he was meeting. In 2013, what began as a passion project on social media took shape as a nonprofit organization, powered by three staff and the compassion of community. To this day, Facing Homelessness honors a simple purpose: To invite all of us to come closer, and to contribute our unique passions and skills toward the effort of ending homelessness.

 

– Our Team –

Sara

Executive Director | sara@facinghomelessness.org

What is your connection to homelessness?

When I first moved to Seattle from a small town in Michigan, I remember feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of people sleeping in doorways and under bridges on my walk into work. Learning about the mission of Facing Homelessness was the beginning of a new journey for me. I am inspired and empowered by our commitment to love unconditionally, to give without judgment, and to see the beauty in each person. This work and this community make me hopeful. I believe that when we place compassion at the center of our lives, we can power a grassroots movement to help end homelessness.


Rex

Founder and Creative Director | rex@facinghomelessness.org

What is your connection to homelessness?

My connection to homelessness grew from meeting people living homeless along the ship canal in Fremont out front of my architecture office. Through those new friendships I realized that their unique beautiful lives did not match what the negative stereotype was telling me about the homeless, in fact, quite the opposite. Through those conversations and new connections my life changed, it was becoming richer and more meaningful day by day. I am deeply grateful for all the kindness and love that has been shared by those suffering with nothing.
 


JENNIFER

Programs Director | jennifer@facinghomelessness.org

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What is your connection to homelessness?

As a long-time Seattle resident seeing the number of people living outside has felt disheartening and overwhelming for a very long time which is what brought me initially to Facing Homelessness as a volunteer. This organization provided a pathway for me to get involved and has given me hope that there are solutions to the homelessness crisis when communities come together with love and compassion. 


ADITI

BLOCK Programs Manager | aditi@facinghomelessness.org

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What is your connection to homelessness?

I have had tremendous privilege in my journey towards knowing myself, feeling 'ok', finding joy, and realizing my potential. My life's mission is to support others in that journey, especially those who are the most disadvantaged, by not having even their basic needs met. I want to support the healing of our world through building community and fostering compassion and giving. This is what brought me to Facing Homelessness. I love that through my work here, I am not only able to move forward in my personal mission, but also get inspired on a daily basis by the stories of humanity, resilience, and deep compassion.


Brittany

Accountant | brittany@facinghomelessness.org

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What is your connection to homelessness?

One of the first things that I noticed when I moved to Seattle from Denver was the number of people living homeless in this city. I have always wondered how people ended up homeless, and this curiosity to learn people's stories led me to explore opportunities in the nonprofit sector. Through this work and saying hello to people on the streets, I have learned that it's rarely just one thing that brings people to homelessness, but rather multiple things in their life that led them to this point. Facing Homelessness has created a space for me to break down some of my preconceived notions about people who live on the street and to continue on my personal journey with this issue. 


KARINA

Community Programs Coordinator | karina@facinghomelessness.org

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When I was 8 years old, not long after being adopted and moving to Seattle from Russia, my mom and I were shopping for groceries at a supermarket. A beautiful woman sitting outside on the ground smiled at me as we were walking out, a smile that made me feel empathy even though I didn’t fully understand her situation. I could barely speak English and I couldn’t assemble words to ask my questions, but I found myself heartbroken by the image of her occupying the ground as her home. Growing up, I wanted to be in a position to help people that were living outside. I found myself not needing answers to every question, not believing the stereotypes, but feeling compelled to make a difference. 

About 6 years ago, I went through a series of events which led me to experience homelessness. Through that time, I came to know a community of people who have beautiful stories, stories that I believe should be heard and acknowledged. I was fortunate to navigate myself out of homelessness through hope and understanding support systems. I realized that being a voice for our community is where I belong. I am connected to this mission, which is to walk alongside our neighbors by hearing their voices, and to enrich our community through shifting the paradigm on homelessness.


BOARD LEADERSHIP

Nancy Waldman, President | nancy@facinghomelessness.org

Sue Rooney, Vice President | sue@facinghomelessness.org

JeeSook Kutz, Treasurer | jeesook@facinghomelessness.org

Denise Rhiner, Secretary | denise@facinghomelessness.org

Shelli Young | shelli@facinghomelessness.org

Jim Dow | jim@facinghomelessness.org

John Mullin | john@facinghomelessness.org

Aliza Allen | aliza@facinghomelessness.org


Contact Information

206.632.7299  |  info@facinghomelessness.org (for a faster response please email)

4001 9th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105

 
 

Media

Facing Homelessness facilitates introductions so that you can choose to create a direct, meaningful connection with others. We do not screen donors or recipients and cannot guarantee anyone's safety or security. Please use your own best judgment.