Generosity – Looking to the Future by Acting in the Present

Erika Bigelow / 13th July 2018 / Comment / Culture

On Friday June 8th, Wheelhouse DMG re-energized. We took a break from our usual work day and worked in a different way.

Our group, 30 strong, spent the day at Seattle’s newest Tiny Home Village site at Yesler and 18th near the International District. The site had been graded and graveled and 25 homes had been delivered, but they were in different states of readiness and many needed levelling, flooring, sanding or interior and exterior paint.

We learned that the skills of the Wheelhouse SEO team do not necessarily extend to caulking guns, nor do the Analytics & SEM teams swiftly lock-in laminate, although the Dev team does seem to contain some natural levelers. But we were all enthusiastic and our skills improved throughout the day.

True Hope Village will open this summer with 35 homes to house individuals, couples and families. Each home has a raised bed, electricity, a wall heater, a locking door, and two opening windows. The site will have a communal kitchen, laundry, bathrooms, and showers. Sponsored by LIHI (Low Income Housing Institute) and New Hope Church, there will be a counseling office on site where residents can get help finding services, plus a welcome/security space where food, hygiene, and clothing donations can be dropped off. The site is permitted at this location for two years.

Wheelhouse believes in generosity. In fact, it is one of our core values and we strive to implement it in our work with our clients and co-workers daily. Yet we also recognize that we are a part of a bigger community here in Seattle and we want to contribute positively to its growth and well-being.

Each quarter, Wheelhouse reaches out to different organizations and spends a day doing what we can to help. These Generosity Days have included apartment clean-ups for incoming low-income housing residents, gardening and yard maintenance at community gardens, tree care and food packaging for food banks, technology training and services at at-risk schools, meal preparation at emergency care shelters, interview training for immigrants, and much more.

While deciding which amazing group to work with can be tough some quarters, the choice this time around was easy. Seattle is facing a homeless crisis which can be seen all around us. Getting people off the streets and into housing is critical. While Tiny Homes are only temporary, they are safe, weatherproof and located near services that can help the residents find jobs, access emotional or physical care, increase their self-sufficiency, and work with services to acquire permanent housing, all within a supportive environment.

One team member summed up our Generosity Day experience “It was great to support an organization making a significant, tangible and long-term difference in the homelessness crisis in our city. And I loved being able to work with my whole team and rally around one cause”

Another team member said “It’s so rewarding to create connections between our tight-knit Wheelhouse community and the Seattle community at large, through generosity”

While another pointed out “It’s even better when you like the action you are performing AND it’s helping somebody else. Lifting (tiny) houses was surprisingly enjoyable”

If you or your company are also interested in working with LIHI to build a tiny home, donate supplies for a home or work at a Tiny Home village, e-mail They would love to have you.

By Erika Bigelow