11.15.23 newsletter – Homecoming

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

www.SoundFoundationsNW.org                            soundfoundationsnw@gmail.com


sound foundations nw builds tiny houses for the homeless as a solution to homelessness in seattle
Happy third Hope Factory anniversary to us.  This is what The Hope Factory looked like in November 2020.  We’ve come a long way, haven’t we!


volunteer Paul M. building tiny houses for the homeless as a solution to homelessness in seattle
Paula then (at the Big Tent) and now.

By Andrew Buchanan

As we always say, our volunteers are the heart and soul of Sound Foundations NW.  300 days per year, you show up to build the walls, cut the insulation, install the roof, paint the homes, and roll one more tiny home out the door.  Collectively, you’ve provided more than 72,000 hours of volunteer work since we began 5-1/2 years ago.  That’s simply amazing, and the compassion and love that you’ve shown is, literally, life-changing for thousands of formerly homeless folks.  Thank you.

In keeping with the spirit of Giving Tuesday coming up on November 28, that every act of generosity counts and that everyone has something to give, we’re hosting a Volunteer Homecoming that day to welcome in new, and welcome back returning, volunteers who want to make a difference.  One such volunteer is Paula M., who started building with us in the early “Big Tent” days, stepped away for a few years, and is now back volunteering regularly.

How often do you volunteer and how long have you been coming?

I started building with Sound Foundations in 2019 when we were located in a big tent at Camp Second chance. A friend of mine asked if I would be interested in doing some volunteer work building tiny homes. I enthusiastically jumped at the opportunity. I enjoy working with my hands and loved the idea of building homes for people who need them. I had such a wonderful experience building that first time. Everybody was so kind and supportive. I was hooked. I appreciate that anybody can participate at any skill level and have a positive experience and be a part of building a home for someone. I continued to volunteer through the pandemic (when) Barb had set it up so small groups could continue to do the important work of building homes.

What’s a favorite story from the “Big Tent” days?  What was it like building there as opposed to in The Hope Factory?

“I liked the Camp Second Chance location because residents would periodically stop by the big tent to help with the build or check out what was going on, (and) provide words of encouragement and appreciation.”

What brings you back?

“After the pandemic I returned to work and didn’t have much time to volunteer, so was only able to come build a handful of times since the move to the Hope factory. I retired recently and committed to returning regularly.”

What task do you enjoy most and why?

“I do enjoy most all the tasks except internal caulking. What’s not to like about using power tools….nothing!  The last couple of weeks I have participated in installing floors. Initially, I thought to myself – oh, bending and kneeling, argh not so much fun!  But turns out this old lady enjoyed that task.  I think seeing so much progress on each house on a build day is so satisfying, no matter what the task. The Hope Factory is set up in a way that is so efficient. I am so glad I have returned to building at the Hope Factory – I’m enjoying every single minute!   Much appreciation to Barb whose advocacy and commitment is an inspiration!!!”

Actually Paula, it’s you and our hundreds of other volunteers who are the inspiration with your giving of time and effort, every day.  Thanks so much for all you do to support tiny homes as a quick, affordable, effective, and dignified solution to homelessness!  We couldn’t be doing this without all of you.  And if you’re a new or not-so-recent volunteer and you’d like to join us for Volunteer Homecoming on 11/28, please sign up here, no experience necessary: https://www.soundfoundationsnw.org/givingtuesday-2023 .  See you at The Hope Factory!


Great News!!  Thanks to a small group of dedicated, longtime donors to SFNW who especially believe in our solution, we have more than $6500 available in matching funds to launch our Giving Tuesday campaign. Our Giving Tuesday Campaign is officially open!  Now through November 28 at midnight, help us meet our financial goal of the cost of five new tiny homes, plus our donor goal of 50 brand new donors, at any amount, by the end of the year.  Did you know that at our current pace of four tiny homes each week, we need to raise $18k every week just to keep even?   Please help us justify the faith our matching donors have put in us to get to $22,500 by 11:59 pm on Nov. 28.  Click here and give what feels right by the deadline and help us claim our match!

Interested in sponsoring the cost of a full tiny home and naming that home as a way of taking ownership of a part of the solution?  See our Tiny Home Sponsorship page for details https://www.soundfoundationsnw.org/sponsor-a-tiny-home and help us make a big leap towards our goal.  Thank you!


Then…the Big Tent is all packed up and ready to move.
And now.

upcoming news and events that impact tiny homes for the homeless, a temporary solution to homelessness, in Seattle
  • November 19th:  Tzu Chi Seattle becomes our newest Community Partner!
  • November 23-24th:  The Hope Factory is closed.  Happy Thanksgiving!
  • December 1st:  March Group Build schedule opens.  We still have a few availabilities for January and February 2024
  • December 11th:  The King Co. Regional Homeless Authority tours The Hope Factory
  • December 12th:  The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be building with us.
  • December 24th through January 1st:  The Hope Factory is closed. Happy Holidays!
  • Early 2024:  The Hope Factory will host our 10th Eagle Scout project.
cutting building materials for tiny houses to solve homelessness in seattle


  • Our “regulars“ who are the heart and soul of our organization.
  • “New Crew” members: Camille, Matthew, Yi Lin, Nathan, Bill, Geoff, Nick, Dirk and Fred.
  • Our wonderful groups: Epiphany Seattle, Lake WA Sai Ctr., T-Mobile, Horizon House and our Bellevue Big Picture School interns.



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.

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

Sponsor a Home:

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 websiteHelping 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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