Omnivorous 2019 gathers 300+ in support of affordable housing

Che Sehyun shares about his family’s great experience living in the Liberty Bank Building while raising his son and daughter, with his partner Nijuana Chardonnay.
Photo by Mike Nakamura.

Dear Friends –

On Thursday, October 10, more than 300 members of Capitol Hill Housing’s community filled Washington Hall to support the critical work of CHH while enjoying the rich variety of cuisine donated by 25 of central Seattle’s finest bars and restaurants.

The evening was a wonderful success.

In a brief and passionate program we heard from CEO Chris Persons about Capitol Hill Housing’s work with partners across Seattle. Ashley Thomas, Senior Manager of Resident Services, emphasized that housing for low income families must be coupled with comprehensive services. We met Che Sehyun and his family, residents of the new Liberty Bank Building, and learned how their new affordable home in the Central District has made it possible to live and thrive in Seattle. And Chef Shota Nakajima of Adana shared that the diversity of Capitol Hill is what inspires him every day.

We entered the room with a goal of raising $205,000. With the support of our large and generous community, we raised more than $240,000 for CHH’s programs and services, representing more than 20% growth over last year. From everyone at CHH, we extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to the donors, guests, sponsors, restaurants, speakers, volunteers and staff who made Omnivorous 2019 a smashing success!

It’s not too late to join us! If you weren’t able to make it but would like to make a donation to support our work, please do so here:

Everyone has the right to a quality, affordable home

Every donation made at Omnivorous goes towards Capitol Hill Housing’s work to foster vibrant, equitable communities where everyone has access to safe, affordable, and welcoming homes.

P.S. As Chris Persons noted in his speech, we are reaching the end of our re-naming process. We are asking YOUR help in determining the new name of our organization. Please visit www.surveyURL.com to weigh in with your thoughts on the eight finalists. Survey closes Monday, October 14, at midnight.

Thank you to all the participating restaurants

Adana, Aluel Cellars, Ba BarCafé Pettirosso, Caffe Vita, Full Tilt Ice CreamHello Robin, Heritage Distilling Company, L’Oursin, Lionhead, Marjorie, Nuflours BakeryOOLA Distillery Optimism Brewing Company, Plenty of Clouds, Poquitos, queer/barRachel’s Ginger Beer, Revolver Bar, Rumba, SmithSoiThat Brown Girl Cooks!, The Tin Table, and Via Tribunali.

THANK YOU TO OUR 2019 SPONSORS!

King Salmon Sponsor

Hama Hama Sponsors


Chanterelle Sponsors

Beneficial State BankBlanton Turner, Colliers McKay Chhan WayneEnterprise Community PartnersEnvironmental Works, Kaiser PermanenteMBE Law GroupPacifica Law GroupPyramid Communications, Walsh Construction, Weinstein A + U

Fiddlehead Fern Sponsors


Cloud Room, Geotech Consultants, Hainsworth Laundry CompanyHSBC BankMithunSeattle Central CollegeSMR ArchitectsWeber Thompson

Media Sponsor

Venue Sponsor

Take our Name Testing Survey!

Capitol Hill Housing (CHH) is ready to select a new name for our organization – and we want your input!

CHH has grown and changed so much in our more than 40 years of service. With your support, we’ve been able to transform alongside our region, building stronger partnerships and expanding housing options with 49 affordable apartment buildings across the greater Seattle area. To meet today’s affordable housing needs, and lead equitable change into the future, we need a name that reflects who – and where – we are now as an organization.

This summer we asked our community of supporters to submit their ideas for a new name. And we’ve done some creative work ourselves. We’ve narrowed down to a list of eight potential names, and we’d like to know what you think of them.

Take 5 minutes to fill out our online survey and let us know which name(s) you think fits.

Survey closes at midnight on Monday, October 14.

Thank you for your dedicated support. We’re grateful to lead this transformational work with you.

CHH PDA Board Committee Meeting Notices

Capitol Hill Housing (CHH) has rescheduled the Property Development Committee meeting originally scheduled to be held in the Belmont Conference Room at the CHH Main Office at 1620 12th Ave, Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98122 on Tuesday, October 1st from 5:30-6:30pm. The meeting has been rescheduled for the same location on Tuesday, October 8th from 3:30-4:30pm.

The Capitol Hill Housing Board has also canceled the previously scheduled meeting of the Executive Committee on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 from 5:30-6:30 pm at the 12th Ave Arts Building at 1620 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122.

CHH PDA Board Committee Meeting Change Notice

Capitol Hill Housing (CHH) has rescheduled the Property Development Committee meeting originally scheduled to be held in the Belmont Conference Room at the CHH Main Office at 1620 12th Ave, Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98122 on Tuesday, August 6th from 5:30-6:30pm.
The meeting has been rescheduled for a conference call on Thursday, August 6, 2019 at 1pm (862-902-0241 Access code: 5271708#).

Thank you,

Capitol Hill Housing

Staff Spotlight: Hassna Benyahya-Calhoun

As a site manager, Hassna serves 47 families across three CHH buildings – the 412, the Byron Wetmore, and Joe Black Apartments. As she tells it, there is no such thing as a typical day. Between overseeing properties, addressing resident concerns, and supervising vendors, her main priorities are accountability, community, and communication.

Key to her success is staying organized – coordinating care for the building, including cleaning and maintenance, is something she’s doing constantly. And while CHH has a 48-hour response policy, Hassna tries to respond to voicemail and email as soon as possible.

Having started at CHH as a front-desk housing assistant, Hassna wants residents of her buildings to know that she is working for them. She’s happy to listen, to make service referrals, and sees herself in partnership with residents. Ultimately, she hopes that folks feel a sense of home.

Partner Spotlight: Byrd Barr Place

Byrd Barr Place is located in old Fire Station #23.

CHH Resident Services is proud to partner with Byrd Barr Place, one of Washington’s oldest community organizations. Byrd Barr Place provides “essential human services to Seattle residents who are struggling to make ends meet”. Their programs include healthy food, personal finance, housing and energy assistance focused especially on emergency situations.

Resident Services staff refer CHH residents to Byrd Barr’s Home Delivery food program and frequently use their resource list to connect residents to services. Staff have coordinated eight LIHEAP Outreach events to sign CHH residents up for Byrd Barr’s Energy Assistance Program.

This great relationship yields smooth referrals, letting Resident Services staff know that they are directing residents to a caring and responsive agency. CHH is also partnering with Byrd Barr Place on our Rise Together capital campaign to raise funding for equitable development projects in the Central District, Capitol Hill, and White Center – including the renovation of Byrd Barr Place’s historic home, Fire Station 23 (pictured above).

Celebrating the End of School

CHH celebrated the end of the school year with celebrations at several of our buildings. Take a look below for a glimpse of the festivities!

It was a day of celebration!
There were skateboarding races – safety first!
The King County Library System was on hand to provide resources for summer.
Face-painting brightened everyone’s smile.
Starting the summer in style!

These events were created in partnership with Skate Like a Girl, FOCS, LeadSHOP, Girl Scouts, Youth in Focus, and GOKIC.

The Pageantry of Pride – Selected works by Kelly O.

If you missed seeing this solo exhibition by photographer Kelly O. during the Capitol Hill Art Walk, stop by the 12th Avenue Arts Gallery to take a look!

12th Avenue Arts Gallery
1620 12th Ave
Second Floor
Seattle, WA 98122

Artist Statement: I’ve lived in Seattle since 1998, relocating from Detroit, Michigan. I learned much about this city working 18+ years as a designer/writer/photographer at The Stranger newsweekly. In addition to The Stranger, my photographs have appeared online in The New York TimesHuffington Post, ABC News, XLR8R, and VICE. In print, I’ve been published in SPIN, Interview, UNCUTMojo, BUST Magazine, and Seattle’s City Arts. Previously showing work in Seattle art galleries Vermillion, Vignettes, Ghost Gallery, the Hard L, and Greg Kucera Gallery—in 2017, three of my photographs (of musician Tendai Maraire) were featured in a show at the Seattle Art Museum. This summer, I am doing an artist residency with #ShoutYourAbortion, and I’m excited to be one of the featured artists at Bumbershoot 2019. My pronouns are she/her, and I celebrate Seattle’s Gay Pride all year long. 

Partner Spotlight: GenPRIDE

Community meeting at GenPRIDE offices. Photo courtesy of GenPRIDE.

We’ve got some big news.

You may have heard that, in partnership with nine LGBTQ-serving organizations, we are building the first LGBTQ-affirming affordable housing for seniors in the Pacific Northwest. Guiding this effort is an Advisory Committee that includes Aging with Pride, Generations Aging with Pride (GenPRIDE), the Ingersoll Gender Center, LGBTQ Allyship, Country Doctor, Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center, POCAAN, the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA), and Seattle Counseling Services.

The past six months have been busy as the Advisory Committee has navigated a site change to Broadway between Pike and Pine and the selection of a ground floor tenant: GenPRIDE. Focused on empowering older LGBTQ+ adults to live with pride and dignity, GenPRIDE promotes, connects, and develops innovative programs and services that enhance belonging and support, eliminate discrimination, and honor the lives of older members of the LGBTQ+ community.

The move to Broadway – originally, the building was to sit at the corner of 14th Avenue and East Union Street – brings better access to more amenities, including the Capitol Hill light rail station, and more visibility for the services that GenPRIDE and others will provide. If this project is funded by the Seattle Office of Housing this fall, we plan to break ground in December 2020.

With 90+ affordable apartments at 60% at or below area median income, a main goal of the project will be to create an anchor for a community at risk of displacement – one that provides health and social services to residents as well as community members not living on site. In addition to becoming its headquarters, GenPride will oversee space on the ground floor to serve community-determined needs.

“This housing project is significant for many reasons—the need for affordable housing is essential, especially for our LGBTQ elders. Many of us have been displaced to far-flung areas in the region where isolation and limited access to services creates more risk to our health and well-being,” says Steven Knipp, GenPRIDE’s Executive Director. “It is also important for us to reclaim Capitol Hill as the LGBTQ+ historic center—and placing this building right in the heart of the neighborhood sends a clear message that we are still here.”