We Are In, and ready to act to create more affordable homes and end homelessness.
We Are In is a community coalition of King County unhoused and housed neighbors, local advocacy organizations and philanthropies, service providers, and businesses who are uniting to drive progress toward creating more affordable homes and ending homelessness in King County.
What We Do
Working in close partnership with people with the lived experience of homelessness, local government, and diverse, external stakeholders, We Are In…
- Deepens public understanding of the causes of, impacts of, and solutions to homelessness in King County;
- Funds and advances innovative solutions to homelessness that are racially equitable, community-driven, data-informed, and sustainable;
- Supports a unified and accountable system of care for the city of Seattle and King County;
- Organizes and builds a movement of community allies, including those with lived experience of homelessness, providers, philanthropists, and businesses to advocate for solutions to homelessness in King County.
- We believe safe, stable housing is a basic human need.
- We believe solutions to homelessness must be informed by diverse voices and co-designed by people with the lived experience of homelessness.
- We believe homelessness is a racial justice issue, and solutions to homelessness must address the systemic inequities that cause disproportionate incidences of homelessness among communities of color.
- We believe homelessness is preventable and moving upstream to address its root causes is critical.
- We believe ultimately, homelessness and housing are inextricably linked, and there is no end to homelessness without more affordable, permanent housing.
We Are In is part of King County’s comprehensive approach to addressing homelessness in King County. Together, We Are In and King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA) align efforts and maximize resources to end homelessness in Seattle and King County. The graphic below outlines this unique role within the broader homelessness response system in King County.
In 2020, We Are In coalition members, King County, and the City of Seattle, released the Regional Action Framework, providing a roadmap forward for ending homelessness in our region.
The framework supported the process already in place to consolidate and merge local government homelessness efforts into a new body, the King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA), and called for coordinating non-governmental efforts through an intermediary body, now known as We Are In. The KCRHA and We Are In work in partnership — as respective representatives of public and private efforts to end homelessness in King County — to address ongoing and emergent needs.
The King County Framework for Regional Action on Homelessness, released in 2020, established the direction of the region’s coordinated efforts on homelessness by articulating a clear vision and priorities, recommending specific policies, strategies and actions, and establishing metrics for success.
We Are In is a coalition — including business, philanthropy, advocates, service providers, and housed and unhoused King County residents — uniting resources to end homelessness across King County and advocate for more affordable housing.
We Are In is housed within Building Changes, a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit, and supported by Ballmer Group, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Raikes Foundation, Symetra, Microsoft Philanthropies, Schultz Family Foundation and Campion Advocacy Fund.
We Are In is proud to partner closely with the Washington State Lived Experience Coalition (LEC), one of the leading organizations in the country that organizes and advocates for people with lived experience of homelessness and housing instability.
FELICIA SALCEDO | EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Felicia Salcedo (she/her) is a regional leader, strategist and advocate for racial equity and social justice with nearly a decade of experience in government and public policy. To achieve transformational systems change, Salcedo builds authentic relationships, utilizes data to drive towards measurable results, and supports the leadership of people with lived experience of homelessness.
Salcedo has worked for Public Health — Seattle & King County, supporting overdose prevention and harm reduction solutions to substance use disorder. She has also worked at C4 Innovations, providing technical assistance, tools, and training to communities across the nation and for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), embedding racial equity principles within its funding guidelines, housing policies, practices, and services. Previously, Salcedo was the External Relations Manager for All Home, the Seattle/King County Continuum of Care, where she developed cross-sector community partnerships in support of ending homelessness.
ERIK HOUSER | MANAGING DIRECTOR OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Erik Houser (he/him) is a public affairs strategist with more than a decade of experience advising members of Congress, philanthropies, nonprofits, and political organizations. In 2019, he helped start We Are In with a coalition of funders, businesses, and community leaders, and he now leads the organization’s communications, advocacy, and organizing efforts. Previously he served as Director of Communications & Public Affairs for the Campion Foundation, regional spokesperson for Planned Parenthood, and a political aide to Senator Maria Cantwell and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene. As a consultant, he has been an advisor to the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, A Way Home Washington, the Executive Office of Jeff and Tricia Raikes, and the State Senate and House Democratic campaign committees, among many other clients. He is a graduate of the College of William & Mary and the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy & Governance.
MELISSA ESPINOZA | MANAGING DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC INVESTMENTS AND IMPACT
Dr Melissa Espinoza (she/her) has over a decade of professional experience in King County (Duwamish and Coast Salish peoples land) providing direct service, funding, technical assistance, and capacity building planning with the CoC. She is intentionally multidisciplinary and intersectional in her work. She is invested in learning from diverse and systemically underrepresented and under resourced populations and honoring their knowledge by advocating for and implementing long-term solutions that are rooted in their expert knowledge and experience. Dr Espinoza has extensive research experience internationally, studying, publishing, and evaluating homelessness programs. She has vast experience collecting, analyzing, and advocating for equitable data-driven results. Dr Espinoza believes in aligning strategies across stakeholders, accountability, and equal partnership to bring sustainable change. Dr Espinoza completed her PhD in Urban Studies from the Institute of Social Policy, Housing, Inequalities Research at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her academic experience focused on the racial inequalities in homelessness, funding alignment, and on Indigenous peoples’ homelessness experiences in Seattle.
MARGARET WOLEY | DIRECTOR OF DATA & IMPACT
Margaret Woley (she/her) is a self-professed social impact data nerd who enjoys working with people, organizations and systems to use data to make our communities stronger for all. Margaret has over 20 years of experience working in the social sector in a variety of roles, including direct service, grantmaking, corporate citizenship, program evaluation and consulting.
Margaret has worked on ending homelessness at both a local and national level. Locally, she worked at Building Changes, focused on youth and family homelessness across Washington state, in the areas of program evaluation, grantmaking, and capacity building. Nationally, Margaret led all work related to data and impact at A Way Home America, an initiative working to end homelessness for LGBTQ+ young people and young people of color. She has served as a consultant to organizations and communities across the country focused on using data to end youth homelessness. Margaret earned a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University and a Master in Public Administration from the University of Washington Evans School of Public Affairs.
WILLIAM YI | ADMINISTRATIVE AND OPERATIONS MANAGER
William Yi (he/him) has several years of experience working with government, nonprofit, and higher education. He works with communities and organizations to advance racial equity and social justice to create communities where we all belong.
William has worked for the City of Tacoma, enforcing anti-discrimination laws in the areas of housing, employment, and public accommodation. He has also worked for the Seattle City Light, operationalizing racial equity within its policies, practices, and procedures. Previously, William worked for the University of Puget Sound, where he supported historically underrepresented students transition to college.