Member Highlight: International Rescue Committee

HDC appreciates all the passion, hard work, and dedication our members devote to the affordable housing movement. No single organization could make this impact and secure this progress alone. The collaboration and connection among members is the human energy that works to ensure all people have a safe, healthy, and affordable home. We want to show our appreciation and learn more about our affordable housing community through these member highlights as each member is crucial to achieving the larger vision of this movement. This week our featured member is International Rescue Committee (IRC). Thank you for all the work that you do!

  1. What excites your team about the work you are doing? 

As refugee resettlement has become a more polarized issue at the federal level, we are continually inspired by how much community support there is for our work locally. In the past year, 700 volunteers contributed well over 20,000 hours helping the IRC empower our newest neighbors. Individuals, community groups, and businesses all throughout our community are stepping up to say refugees and immigrants are welcome in Washington State.

  1. What is a favorite office anecdote?

The IRC in Seattle is a close-nit team with ample team spirit. Every year, we host “IRC Way Day” to learn about the IRC’s core values of integrity, service, and accountability. It’s become a tradition for our office to also produce a homemade music video on IRC Way Day, lip syncing to popular songs with custom IRC-themed lyrics and dancing together as a team. It’s a great chance to blow off steam and have fun together!

  1. What upcoming projects, partnerships, and news are you looking forward to? 

There is much to look forward to in the year ahead. One partnership we’re particularly excited about is expanding our work with AirBnB’s Open Homes program. Through Open Homes, the IRC is able to provide free transitional housing to refugee and immigrant families who are new to the Seattle area and waiting to be placed in long-term housing. Open Homes also offers emergency shelter for refugees, immigrants, and survivors of human trafficking who are experiencing crises or a major life transitions. This is a great resource, allowing the IRC to be more responsive to the needs of vulnerable clients in urgent need of housing.

  1. What have you been most proud of during your time as an HDC member?

The IRC is honored to be an HDC member, working with a broad coalition of partners on an issue that’s so critical to our community. It’s energizing to witness the concrete results of HDC members’ advocacy and organizing efforts. One such victory we’re proud of is King County Council’s recent vote to allocate additional lodging tax dollars to fund affordable housing.