10.18.23 newsletter – Meet Our Interns!

weekly newsletter of Sound Foundations NW, a non-profit builder of tiny homes for the homeless in seattle

www.SoundFoundationsNW.org            /           SoundFoundationsNW@gmail.com

Meet Our Interns!

interns at sound foundations nw, a non-profit builder of tiny houses for the homeless
Bellevue Big Picture School Interns (from left to right) Dijina, Nico, Samantha, Serenity and Ian.

Sound Foundations NW is again proud to host interns from the Bellevue Big Picture School. This high school is focused on giving their students real world experience in the form of internships throughout the area. This is our second semester hosting students, and we are thrilled to have such a diverse group. Let’s welcome them and learn a bit more about them.


a high school intern volunteering at sound foundations nw, a non-profit builder of tiny houses for the homeless

“This past Thursday was my first day at my internship. It was very interesting, and I cannot wait to go back next week. Because my internship is so new, we have not yet decided on a project for me so currently my goal is to learn how to use the tools. So far this has gone well I did have some difficulties with some of the tools at first, but improvement comes with practice. Over the next month, I plan to figure out what my project is and how I can work towards its completion.”


a high school intern volunteering at sound foundations nw, a non-profit builder of tiny houses for the homeless

The reason I choose to do Sound Foundations NW as my internship is because I don’t know what I want to do in the future. However, I do know that I want to help people. I believe that by learning/making tiny homes I can help people directly in my community. I also was inspired by some of the interns last year who choose to do this as their internship and talked about how much they enjoyed it. What I hope to get out of doing this experience is learning how to work with power tools and learning to work better with other people.


a high school intern volunteering at sound foundations nw, a non-profit builder of tiny houses for the homeless

“The past 2 weeks at my internship has but so much fun. The first week I did orientation with a group of volunteers and the other Big Picture intern. Barb gave us a tour of the area, and brief explanations on what each station’s purpose was. Once done with the tour the other interns and I were sent to a station to cut the insulation. When we finished cutting all the necessary pieces, we moved on to caulking the nails in the exterior walls. The second week we were with the normal group of volunteers, so we started working on the jigs, I learned how the walls are made on the jigs (I worked on one of the side walls). While I was building the wall with my group I learned how to use a nail gun. Once we were done with the wall, we proceeded to do a tilt up, were we put the walls up and put them together. I used the drill to nail down the walls to the foundation.  

For the project I’ll be working towards being a team leader, just like previous interns have done. The first step would be to familiarize myself with the different tools and get comfortable with certain stations. I’ve already started working with nail guns, drills, and even the jigs. Now it’s just the matter of familiarizing myself with certain tasks, so I can be more comfortable with them.

A lot of what I’ve been doing at my internship is closely tied to my learning goals, one of them being the ability to use the tools in tiny homes, such as the drills, nail guns, or stapler hammers. It’s been helping me develop skills such as quality in my work and efficiency. I want to be able to do things efficiently so there are no backups, but at the same time I have to do everything well, so the build is sturdy but also so there is no need to fix a poor job on my part.

So far, I haven’t experienced any major challenges, they are mostly minor ones like how I had to break a small habit with how I help the nail gun. I also struggled with communicating to my team, so it affected our efficiency.

In the next couple weeks, I plan to learn newer things like adding the roof tiles, painting the houses, or how to build a different wall, such as the wall with the window and door, or the wall with the window and air-conditioning hole.”


a high school intern volunteering at sound foundations nw, a non-profit builder of tiny houses for the homeless

“I originally wanted to intern at Sound Foundations NW because it sounded like a fun internship, to build tiny homes, to learn more about construction and woodworking! But after I had my informational interview with Barb, I also wanted to intern here to help contribute to their cause. They are directly making an impact on homelessness, each tiny home being a person off the streets. It’s fulfilling to complete a tiny home and send it off, getting to write happy messages on the walls. I’m glad I can contribute to something so impactful interning here.”


a high school intern volunteering at sound foundations nw, a non-profit builder of tiny houses for the homeless


“I am interning at The Hope Factory because I am interested in construction after my brother shared some of his stories of on-site work. The Hope Factory seemed like the best option. Interning here has proved that point, I get to make an impact on the community, learn about construction, and get hands on work experience. All together this internship opportunity has been the best so far, and it only looks like it will get better.”


links to news stories about homelessness in Seattle and elsewhere

  • Missed last week’s homeless debates? Here’s where you can watch them on YouTube:



upcoming news and events that impact tiny homes for the homeless, a temporary solution to homelessness, in Seattle

  • Tonight, Barb testifies at the Seattle City Council Budget Committee and shares our new Two Year Plan called “Getting to Functional Zero”. Full details of this plan will be in next week’s newsletter.
  • This Saturday, the young professionals from Tzu Chi, who have come from across the country, will be building at The Hope Factory. WE NEED EXTRA TEAM LEADERS PLEASE.
  • October 24, Sound Foundations NW will host a virtual Open House as part of the Microsoft Gives month-long event.
  • October 31st, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal will be building with us at The Hope Factory (assuming she is not stuck in the other Washington.)
  • November 6th, we will host members of the King County Regional Homeless Authority for a tour of The Hope Factory.
  • November 8th, we will host a virtual Lunch and Learn for Amazon.


Amazon volunteers at sound foundations nw, a non-profit builder of tiny homes for the homeless
Women of Amazon, aka “Queen Bees”.



  • Our “regulars“ who are the heart and soul of our organization.
  • New Crew” members: Isaac, Stefan, Phoenix, Darnell, Yvonne and Alex.
  • Our wonderful groups: Epiphany Seattle, Congregation Beth Shalom, Shannon & Wilson, and Oxeon Corporation.




Come build with us this week! Here’s the link:


  • Please remember to wear painting clothes even if you do not anticipate painting. Minimum age is 16 years. Please, no exceptions.
  • Clarification: If the SignUpGenius says (The name of a Group Build) AND Open Build, this means that you can volunteer even if you are not a part of the group.
  • TEAM LEADERS IN TRAINING: If you wish to become a Team Leader in Training, DO NOT SIGN UP for the day you wish to do this. Email SoundFoundationsNW@gmail.com and we will put you on the list.

We hope to be building with you soon!

Your Leadership Team: Beatrice, Tom, Bruce, David, Timothy and Barb

It Takes a Village to FUND a Village!

YOU are a big part of why stacks and stacks of lumber fill The Hope Factory. There are several ways to give throughout the year. Questions? Please email devel.sfnw@gmail.com. All gifts qualify as tax deductible but please consult your tax professional for your own situation.

Sponsor a Home:our tiny home sponsor wall thanks donors to Sound Foundations who have donated the cost of materials to build one tiny home for the homeless

Remember, if you sponsor a home (currently $4500), you get to name the home! Tiny home sponsors have their names (or “anonymous”) and the name of their home added to our Tiny Home Sponsor wall and join our growing list of supporters who’ve reached a little deeper to become part of the solution to ending homelessness. Email devel.sfnw@gmail.com for details.



A Few Reminders

  • We do tours every day but Friday. Come visit if you haven’t been yet.
  • We have a “Welcome to Sound Foundations NW” PowerPoint presentation that is also in .pdf form. If people ask you what we are all about, these are a simple thing to attach to an email to explain who we are, what we do, and why we do it. Email SoundFoundationsNW@gmail.com for this .pdf or PowerPoint.
  • We fund our homes through a combination of private and public donations. For more information, please go to our website – Helping Finance the Homes.

Protocols, Address, Directions

  1. Volunteer at your own risk for Covid or any other illness. If you are experiencing any symptoms, please stay home.
  2. Masks are optional when volunteering at The Hope Factory. There is no shame in wearing a mask.
  3. The minimum age is 16 years. Please, no exceptions.
  4. When you are at The Hope Factory, please social distance whenever possible.
  5. Covid booster shots are not required but highly encouraged.
  6. We are usually there by 9 am or 2 pm on most Sundays. Make sure you double check the times in the Sign Up Genius. You can come and go as your schedule permits. Just let us know so we can plan ahead.
  7. Please bring your own gloves. 
  8. Please leave your own tools at home.
  9. Please bring your own lunch. 
  10. No matter what you do, please come prepared to paint. 
  11. Warehouses can be difficult to heat and cool. Please dress appropriately. 
  12. We currently have no indoor restrooms, Honey Bucket only.
  13. We understand that sometimes life gets in the way of good intentions. If you must cancel at the last minute, please contact us as soon as you know. Others may want to volunteer in your place.
  14. No experience necessary. We train willing hearts. 

OUR ADDRESS is 5 S. Nevada St., Seattle 98109 in SODO. 

GOOGLE MAPS – find us here.

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Sound Foundations NW