Our Neighborhood

Seattle’s Aurora Avenue, an old state highway lined with used car lots, sex shops, fast food joints, and run-down motels, has long been known for its issues of homelessness, addiction, and commercial sexual exploitation. As our Aurora neighbors experience an ever-increasing lack of connection, we believe that the most effective way to confront Aurora’s problems is by cultivating community and a corresponding network of care. Only then will our neighbors and neighborhood truly flourish.

 
 

Meet our team

 
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Elizabeth Dahl

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Elizabeth has a Nonprofit Management certificate from the University of Washington and has certificates in grant-writing and volunteer management.  She is currently working on a Fundraising Management Certificate at the UW.  Elizabeth started with Aurora Commons in 2012 and has been the Executive Director since January 2015. 

 

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Karen Cirulli

DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY EngagemenT, CO-FOUNDER

Karen has lived in the Seattle neighborhood of Greenwood for over ten years.  Karen earned her B.A in 2007 and in 2013 completed the Lay Leader Counseling Certificate from the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology.  Karen has been a Licensed Massage Therapist  since 2005 and specializes in work specific to women who have experience trauma and/or abuse.  As well as starting two successful small businesses, Karen served as an Americorps volunteer along Aurora Avenue in in North Seattle for two years where she received training in Asset Based Community Development.

 

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Lisa Etter Carlson

DIRECTOR OF HEALTH & WOMEN'S INITIATIVES, CO-FOUNDER

Lisa earned her B.A. in Recreational Therapy in 2002 from Calvin College, and her Masters of Theology and Culture in 2011 from the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology.  Lisa was the co-founder of the Green Bean, a non-profit coffeehouse in North Seattle. Lisa has been building community among those on the margins for over ten years.  Her dream for Humanity is for us all to live as though we belong to one another.  She has a passion for curating spaces and stewarding relationships in order to help birth a bit of beauty along the north end of Aurora Avenue in Seattle.

 

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Jacqueline Moulton

ART & COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

Jacqueline has her Master’s of Arts in Theology and Culture from the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. Jacqueline is an artist who works with paint, photography, sculpture, and installation. Jacqueline has published a book of poetry entitled, The Day I Was Too Afraid to Jump off the High Dive and other tales of fear and trepidation. Jacqueline teaches art courses within the Visual Communications Department at Trinity Lutheran college. Currently, Jacqueline is working towards her PhD in Philosophy and the Arts at the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts. Jacqueline's philosophy is simple: none of us are free until each and every one of us are free.

Ashlee Knight, Aurora Commons Operations Manager

Ellen Underhill, Administrative Assistant

April Ulinski, Host

Hayden Wartes, Host

Katie Ross, Shift Lead

Lenelle Jenkins, Host
 

 

Aurora Commons Board of Directors

Mailing Address

8525 Greenwood Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103

 

Phone Number

206-299-2278

 

Contact Us

Feel free to send us a message for General Inquiries, Art Program, Health and Women Program, Community Engagement, and/or become our Organizational Partners. 

 
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Media

 
 
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On Aurora Avenue: 'Radical hospitality' 
Tess Riski // CROSSCUT MAGAZINE
March 22, 2017

“White male: roughly 70 years old, goes by name Thomas-driving a red 4 door suv picked up woman in Lynnwood but frequents aurora avenue as well. Was calm at first but eventually got angry, was slamming on the breaks and when woman yelled for him to stop- he parked and tried to strangle her and punched her, then raped her.”

This recently updated “Bad Date List” posting and handfuls of condoms in assorted colors greet dozens of women and men as they step into the Aurora Commons, a day shelter near the intersection of Aurora Avenue and North 90th Street.

 
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The Aurora Commons taught me about the politics of sharing space
Jacqueline Moulton // REAL CHANGE
March 15th 2017

To share space is to give of something we do not own, are not entitled to and which has been gifted to us. I did not learn this on my own, as on my own I am selfish and entitled, believing I own the space I inhabit. If, like the proverbial lesson in kindergarten, I have learned to share, it is because the people at the Aurora Commons have taught me how.

 
Art by Barry Blankenship

Art by Barry Blankenship

How a Coffee House Became a Haven on North Aurora
Elizabeth Sharpe // SEATTLE WEEKLY
February 23 2016

Ericka Frodsham scrapes the last of the soup from an enormous stockpot into a yogurt container without a lid. It is after 9 p.m. and Aurora Commons is technically closed. But without a home, Frodsham is loath to leave.

She slides the topless container into a Ziploc bag. Her fingers are darkened, swollen, her nails filthy. Dozens of silver bangles around her wrist don’t so much as tinkle. She dons a man’s thick sweatshirt from the closet of giveaway clothes.