Aurora Commons was born in 2011 out of a neighborhood need for belonging and a direct response to the increasing population of unhoused neighbors along North Aurora Avenue. We come together to share life, to share resources, and to build relationships with all neighbors in the area. With every visit we are interrupting the cycle of marginalization and disconnection that is the reality for so many. Showing love and building healthy relationships stabilizes people.
Our objective is to provide a welcoming space for people experiencing homelessness and housing instability to build trust, access basic needs (such as clothing, hygiene, and food), connect to resources, and to co-create programming aimed at increasing stability, safety, and improved health. We provide services based on the belief that the most effective way to confront Aurora neighborhood’s challenges is by cultivating community and providing a corresponding network of services and care in a trusted, central and accessible location. Through this model, Aurora Commons has become a central hub around which many nonprofit and service agencies connect to bridge resources to some of the most vulnerable people in the city.
While people can experience belonging in a moment, transformation takes place over time as people experience a consistent, loving presence and are able to build trust. Trust leads to transformed lives. Transformed lives are often a long-term investment, but one that we are fully committed to, for we have seen our investment alter the course of countless lives, including our own. Communities are changed by people feeling like they have value.
Elie Wiesel says “the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference.”
Elizabeth has lived in North Seattle near Aurora Commons for over 13 years. She has Nonprofit Management and Fundraising Management certificates from the University of Washington and has certificates in grant-writing and volunteer management. Elizabeth started with Aurora Commons in 2012 as a volunteer and has been the Executive Director since January 2015. — email@example.com
Lisa Etter Carlson
Director of Health & Women’s Initiatives, Co-Founder
Lisa is grateful to be able to spend her days in her neighborhood at Aurora Commons and at home with her husband Andy and two kids, Cedar and Kipling. Prior to Co-Founding Aurora Commons, she Co-founded the Green Bean Coffeehouse (a non-profit cafe). Both of these movements were created and are currently curated by a community of folks that, together, long to midwife spaces where precious human beings from all walks of life can live as though we belong to one another. Lisa has been awake and living with intention towards her neighbors who are unhoused, drug dependent, and involved in street based sex work for over 15 years now. She is a Member of the Adult Survivor Collaborative (ASC) and is a proponent of harm reduction, safe consumption facilities, and loving absurdly. — firstname.lastname@example.org
Art Coordinator & Shift Lead
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.
Director of Volunteer & Community Engagement
Marge is a Licensed Practical Nurse with a B.S. in Psychology currently working on her Master’s of Counseling Psychology at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. She has spent the majority of her life walking with and advocating for the marginalized and underprivileged in the United States and abroad. She is passionate about living authentically; embracing the journey of becoming, as she allows others the freedom to do the same. — email@example.com
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.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Aurora Commons actively builds partnerships with area organizations and housing providers so that through the relationships we build, as we learn stories, we can appropriately bridge our unhoused friends neighbors to the resources they need. We are so thankful for our wider community that serves and supports our unhoused neighbors.
- PACIFIC HOSPITAL PRESERVATION & DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
- PEOPLE’S HARM REDUCTION ALLIANCE
- PHINNEY RIDGE LUTHERAN
- PUGET SOUND CHRISTIAN CLINIC
- REST (Real Escape from the Sex Trade)
- SEATTLE POLICE DEPARTMENT
- SALMON BAY
- SEATTLE & KING COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
- UW GYNECOLOGY
- WA STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
- WOODLAND PARK UMC
- AWAKE CHURCH
- BETHANY COMMUNITY CHURCH
- CATHOLIC COMMUNITY SERVICES
- CITY OF SEATTLE HUMAN SERVICES
- FRED HUTCH HIV VACCINE TRIALS UNIT
- FULLER LIVING CONSTRUCTION
- GREENLAKE CHURCH
- GREENLAKE PRESBYTERIAN
- GREENWOOD SENIOR CENTER, PNA
- HARBORVIEW MEDICAL CENTER
- HEPATITIS EDUCATION PROJECT
- LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion)
- MOSAIC CHURCH
- NEIGHBORCARE MERIDIAN CLINIC
- OPS (Organization for Prostitution Survivors)