Photo courtesy Nancy Washburn: Magnolia residents Tim and Nancy Washburn stand outside the tiny house they and others built for a tiny house village in honor of Nancy’s 80th birthday.
Photo courtesy Nancy Washburn: Magnolia residents Tim and Nancy Washburn stand outside the tiny house they and others built for a tiny house village in honor of Nancy’s 80th birthday.

In honor of her 80th birthday in 2019, Magnolia resident Nancy Washburn didn’t want a big party. All she wanted was for her family to build a tiny house to benefit a person in Seattle who was experiencing homelessness.

While the COVID-19 pandemic postponed Washburn’s birthday plans for a year, she finally received her birthday present this spring. On June 3, a Lowe’s truck delivered the necessary materials for the tiny house, and 20 volunteers, led by her husband, Tim, and the couple’s family members and friends made Washburn’s birthday wish come true when they built a tiny house to specification in a month’s time.

Monday, it was picked up from the small area Washburn’s neighbor donated to their project and hauled away to be used at one of the city’s tiny house villages.

“It’s just a gift of love, frankly,” Washburn said.

Washburn said she and her husband feel strongly about doing what they can to help the city’s unhoused residents, and this project was a small way they could help. She said she was told by someone at the Low Income Housing Institute, which manages the tiny house village in Interbay and others in the city, that her her tiny house would go to the Interbay village when it is expanded this summer, but she is just glad it is going to help someone.

“It’s just been a wonderful project,” she said. “And at 80, we’re not going to have a whole lot more opportunities to do something like that.”