March 2018 Newsletter

In This Issue:

Come Celebrate Othello & Rainier Beach!

Join us March 15, 2018, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at New Holly Gathering Hall for a community celebration! HomeSight, Rainier Beach Action Coalition, and Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County will share priorities identified in our neighborhood survey and plan, Curbed: A Plan for Mitigating Displacement in Othello/Rainier Beach. We and other partner organizations will be available to discuss some of the projects highlighted in the plan and other ventures being undertaken to create opportunities for shared prosperity in the Othello/Rainier Beach community. Come hear from:


Show your support for these neighborhood projects and potentially get involved with a local organization.

Also, learn more about HomeSight's affordable homeownership co-op opportunity in the Othello neighborhood. Join us to find out how to:

  • Make your transition to homeownership an affordable experience
  • Build assets for you and your family
  • Build community ownership
  • Become an integral part of the exciting SEOC project

The event is free and open to the public. Interpretation and a special preview (that is, free food) will be available from select participating Plate of Nations restaurants.   

Fill Your Plate

SEATTLE FOOD LOVERS UNITE! From March 23 to April 8 Seattle’s most diverse community will transport taste buds from across the city on a culinary expedition of world cuisine unlike any available in the ‘206’ as part of the 8th Annual Plate of Nations.


For two mouthwatering weeks, Southeast Seattle restaurants representing more than 30 cultures from around the world will assemble to present a rolling banquet of global cuisine. Notably inclusive Seattleites can savor Mediterranean seared lamb kababs, Vietnamese duck noodle soup, Eritrean stewed lentils, and satiate the palette with luxurious red wine from the Argentinian province of La Rioja.

Such a feast would normally mean exhaustive globetrotting and depleted frequent flyer mile accounts, however, Plate of Nations involves a simple venture to Seattle’s most historically diverse neighborhoods in Rainier Valley.

While the community houses more than 80 ethnicities and 57 languages, Plate of Nations will play host to the most universal language of all: exquisite cuisine.

This year's Plate of Nations invites all who love food, all who embrace culture, and all who honor togetherness to unite in showing the rest of this great country that when it comes down to it, there may be many plates, but we are one nation!

As in previous years, participating restaurants will offer special $20 and $30 sharable meals. Participating restaurants include The Original Philly’s (American East Coast), Café Ibex (Ethiopian), Little Chengdu (Sichuan), Bananas Grill (Mediterranean and Middle Eastern), Rainier Restaurant (Vietnamese), The Wine Station (international), Tacos Chukis (Mexican), Big Chickie (A Peruvian mix), Olympic Express (Southeast Asian/Cham Vietnamese Halal), Huong Duong (Vietnamese), Foo Lam (Chinese), Momona (Eritrean), Taco Street (Mexican), and Café Red (Vegan/Vegetarian).

“We get so many new customers during the event not just because our food is so good, but also because it is fun to participate in Plate of Nations.”

– Guy Thomas, Co-Owner, The Original Philly's

Inaugurated in 2011 by the MLK Business Association, Plate of Nations was created to showcase the rich cultural traditions and breadth of great food found at MLK restaurants. It was the brainchild of Asari Mohamath, a Cham Muslim refugee from Vietnam and former owner of Salima restaurant, who wanted to develop a unified marketing event to highlight the unique and authentic cuisines offered by his fellow restaurant owners in the area.

Last year’s event amassed thousands of attendees from more than 5 states, 20 cities in Washington State, and neighborhoods from all quadrants of Seattle.

The 8th Annual Plate of Nations is sponsored by HomeSight, the MLK Business AssociationCity of Seattle’s Office of Economic DevelopmentVulcanKVRUthe Stranger  and Rainier Valley Community Development Fund.

Meet the Home(Sight) Team

Have you ever realized you were missing something great but only after you suddenly had it? Like now you can’t imagine life without it? Something like a coffee mug that keeps your coffee perfectly warm all day? Or Beyonce’s Lemonade? That’s how the HomeSight Homeownership Center lending team feels about Loan Assistant Weenta Benyam-Stephanos. Born and raised in South Seattle, Weenta joined the team just six months ago and we already can’t imagine what our days would be like without her help (and laugh, and, seriously amazing shoe collection)!

Let’s find out more about Weenta (and those shoes) in this month’s edition of The Home Team!

Meet the Home(Sight) Team: Weenta Benyam-Stephanos


What have your first six months been like at HomeSight? Any challenges or surprises?

My first six months have been good and incredibly informative. I’m learning new things daily. It turns out that learning mortgage loan lingo is basically like learning an entirely new language. (Yep!)

One of my prior jobs was quite literally writing parking tickets at the UW campus. The clients I’m working with now have been a huge (and wonderful) change from the not-so-happy folks I was working with previously. 

Our office is notorious for how much we love our pets (a lot). There is rarely a day that goes by where someone isn’t showing off pictures or telling a story about their cat eating something irreplaceable. You know where this is leading…

I have two pets. One is a 10 year old pomchi named Jasmine who is basically like a person and my little sister. The other is Leah, my six-year-old tortoiseshell/tabby cat. The best way to describe her would be a bothersome insomniac who is sometimes sweet. She chased off her own kittens, so…

One of the first things everyone noticed when you started at HomeSight was your really great sneaker collection. Do you have a favorite pair? How do you keep them all organized?

My favorite pair are the ones I’m wearing right now—they’re a black, gray, and white pair of Nike’s—I probably wear them the most, too. I have over 20 pairs of sneakers and they’re organized by brand first and then color.

You’ve told us your great-grandmother had a famous recipe for honey wine. Can you tell us the story about where it came from?

My great-grandmother worked as a caterer at the Guenete Leul Palace (“Paradise of Princes”) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The honey wine recipe was the palace recipe which she learned while working there. She passed it down to my grandma and now I have a copy of the recipe that she wrote out by hand.