Kate Akalonu | Director of Strategic Initiatives
Kate recently joined Everyone Home DC as its Director of Strategic Initiatives, and is an integral part of the leadership team, responsible for forging new relationships to build the organization’s visibility, impact, and financial resources. Kate is a nonprofit leader with more than 10 years of experience in management, project planning, fund development, strategic communications, and community engagement. She has a passion for creating healthy organizational cultures that create lasting and measurable impact. She previously served as Director of Development at CentroNia and started her nonprofit career on the development team at N Street Village. Prior to moving to DC, Kate served as a community development facilitator with Peace Corps Ukraine and spent time in the hospitality industry working as a reception manager at a rustic lodge in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho. Kate received an executive certificate in nonprofit management from Georgetown University’s Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership and earned her bachelor’s degree in advertising from the University of Illinois.
What inspired you to work at Everyone Home DC?
KA: I was really impressed with the organization’s leadership and the ambitious work they were doing and planning over the next five years. I felt that the skills I had grown throughout my career as well as my personal and professional values were well matched with those of Everyone Home DC. I was also really drawn to Everyone Home DC’s vision of the District of Columbia as a thriving and diverse community where all people can obtain and remain in safe, affordable, and comfortable homes. I am so happy to be here!
What do you wish other people knew about that issue of homelessness?
KA: No one wants to be homeless. Being homeless is not something people choose. We live in a country that has an affordable housing crisis and way too many individuals and families are experiencing homelessness because of it. When barriers are dismantled and long-term housing wraparound services are offered that treat people experiencing homelessness with dignity and provide the resources they need to thrive, people can find and stay in housing.
Describe Everyone Home DC in 3 words.
KA: Dedication. Stability. Community.
On a Sunday morning you will find me…
KA: Drinking a cup of coffee, pruning houseplants, folding laundry, and cleaning the habitat of my family’s rescue guinea pigs Kona and Cisco. If you are ever looking to adopt, consider working with Metropolitan Guinea Pig Rescue.
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the DC area?
KA: I am originally from a small town in Northern Illinois called Monroe Center. After completing university, I spent time in the Sawtooth Mountains in Stanley, Idaho, Eugene, Oregon, Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Hadiach, Poltava Oblast, Ukraine. I moved to Washington, DC in 2008, and proudly live in the Deanwood neighborhood with my two young children.
What is the last thing you watched on Netflix (and enjoyed)?
KA: I recently watched the Netflix original series Russian Doll and enjoyed every minute of it. I was sad when it came to an end. I like that the episodes were short (30 minutes) so I could sneak one in when I had a free moment. I read an article that said you should go into watching it without knowing the premise, so that is all I will say. I strongly recommend it! Other family favorites are Queer Eye, Nailed It, and I have to be honest—I can’t wait to watch Unicorn Store. We can talk about Hulu in my next Q&A. *smile*
What is your favorite quote?
KA: “True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.” Martin Luther King Jr. “Beyond Vietnam”