Giving for Good: UWCFD 2021 Campaign

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Each year, the UW Combined Fund Drive selects a nonprofit organization to highlight during the fall fundraising campaign. Last year, as the Covid-19 pandemic gathered momentum and people’s lives were disrupted in so many ways, we chose to focus on food insecurity and ultimately raised $165,000 for Northwest Harvest. This year, we are again focusing on a basic need: shelter. 

Our 2021 campaign featured nonprofit is the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), focusing on their Tiny House Villages.

Homelessness is a serious problem facing our region, with an estimated 40,000 individuals living in shelters or outdoors in our state. There are far more homeless people than there is shelter space and affordable housing, leaving thousands on the streets in unsafe and unsanitary conditions, struggling just to survive. LIHI’s Tiny House Villages provide innovative shelter for hundreds of homeless individuals and families. 

LIHI’s new tiny house village, Rosie’s Village, is being constructed at 45th and Roosevelt in the University District. The village is scheduled to open late October 2021.

As one of the largest providers of tiny house village shelters in the nation, LIHI ensures that people’s experience in homelessness is as safe, dignified, and brief as possible. Villages have security booths with 24-hour security, hygiene facilities, kitchen facilities, and laundry. Tiny houses are approximately 100 square feet with a variety of designs. They are all safe, sturdy structures that protect homeless individuals and families. The tiny houses have lockable doors, insulation, windows, an overhead light, electricity, heat, and ventilation.  

The villages provide the stability and assistance the residents need to get back on their feet and improve their lives. On-site case managers connect residents with housing, employment, and needed social services like healthcare, education, childcare, income benefits, transportation, drug and alcohol treatment, unification with family and friends, and more.  

Want to learn more about how homelessness is being addressed in the Seattle area?

Join us at the virtual UWCFD Lunch & Learn on young adult homelessness on October 21  from 12 – 1 p.m.

Representatives from ROOTS Young Adult Shelter, New Horizons, YouthCare and Hopelink will be on hand to share the work they are doing to address this issue. Register here.

Donate to LIHI

Set up payroll deduction or make a one-time gift to LIHI (charity code 1478543) through the UWCFD.  

In-kind donations of building materials, supplies or meals for a village, “welcome home” baskets or hygiene products are welcome! Contact for specific donation needs and how to donate them. 


Volunteers for the tiny house project are needed in a variety of areas, including carpentry, painting, artwork, advocacy, and more. Email for more info and to apply. 

Learn more & explore

1. Tiny House Village Brochure: A comprehensive overview of the Tiny Houses program through LIHI.

2. “Women, Tiny Houses, and Locking Doors”: 6-minute video following formerly homeless women, now living in tiny house villages in Seattle. Listen as they share their stories in this extraordinary short video produced by filmmaker Steve Rowland. 

3. Tiny Houses Big Future: A short video about the Low Income Housing Institute’s innovative Tiny House Initiative.