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Henderson Village Opening Celebration

Rev Lawrence Willis of Truevine of Holiness Missionary Baptist Church with Sharon Lee, LIHI Executive Director

A community celebration was held on February 21 to mark the opening of Henderson Village in Rainier Valley at 4849 S. Henderson St. This new tiny house village with 42 tiny houses is situated in the Rainier Beach neighborhood, close to Light Rail, the Rainier Community Center, South Shore K-8, Rainier Beach H.S., Rainier Branch Library, Rainier Valley Food Bank, recreation and amenities. The village is operated by LIHI and the faith sponsor is Truevine of Holiness Missionary Baptist Church.

Speakers at the opening included a blessing from Reverend Lawrence Willis, pastor of the church; Melinda Nichols, LIHI Board President; Gloria Hatcher-Mays, Executive Director of Rainier Valley Food Bank; Alexis Turla representing Councilmember Tammy Morales; Barb Oliver of Sound Foundations NW; Donna Limberger, LIHI Program Manager; Savannah Morris, Tiny House Villager; and Sharon Lee, LIHI Executive Director. 

Henderson Village is operating as an enhanced 24/7 shelter, and offers a sense of community and a pathway to permanent housing for approximately 45-50 people. This includes families with children, singles and couples, and people with pets who are experiencing homelessness. LIHI has set-aside 10 of the tiny houses for refugee families, including asylum seekers from South America, Angola and the Congo, who were living in tents at the Riverton Park United Methodist Church in Tukwila. 

Henderson Village includes 42 tiny houses that are 8'x12', along with case manager offices, a community kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry facilities. Each tiny house is insulated and has electricity, heat and A/C. A fence surrounds the village to ensure privacy and security for program participants. LIHI staff are available on-site 24/7 to manage operations, ensure safety, and provide necessary services. Clients in the program will be referred from a variety of local community organizations and the City of Seattle. 

“The goal of Henderson Village is to serve the Rainier Beach neighborhood and beyond, helping our vulnerable families and individuals move into permanent housing,” said Sharon Lee, LIHI Executive Director. “We are grateful to the City of Seattle, State of Washington, and donors for providing much needed shelter for people experiencing homelessness. Thank you to the many volunteers who built the tiny houses.” Given the large number of people living unsheltered on the streets, tiny houses are a cost effective and innovative solution. In 2023 LIHI helped over 1,346 people move into tiny houses in King County. 

LIHI is partnering with the Rainier Valley Food Bank (RVFB), which is located directly across the street from the village. Some of the houses will temporarily serve as RVFB staff offices while the food bank is renovating their offices. RVFB will provide food and nutritional resources for villagers. Henderson Village will replace the tiny house shelter capacity from the recent planned closure of Othello Village, as LIHI is developing that site into 148 units of affordable housing and an early learning center operated by Refugee Women's Alliance.

Henderson Village will provide a pathway to permanent housing for vulnerable homeless households with little or no income. On-site case managers will help people transition into housing. All participants will receive help with obtaining IDs, applying for income support, and help with housing navigation, employment, healthcare, and other supportive services. 

LIHI will establish a Community Advisory Council (CAC) consisting of local residents, business owners, faith leaders, and community representatives to meet monthly and provide community input and oversight for the village. These meetings will be open to the public. Additionally, there will be various opportunities for community members to volunteer, donate, help prepare meals, and welcome new neighbors to Henderson Village. If you are interested in volunteering or donating items please contact Amanda Benson at

The tiny houses on the site were built by volunteers with Sound Foundations NW. Contractor 21 Million Contracting placed all structures, and built the laundry facility, common spaces, and all stairs, decks, and ramps. Click here to make a monetary donation.

Accessible tiny houses are part of the village 

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