Resident Profile: Alula Wassé at Ethiopian Village

June 22, 2023 -- Alula Wassé scanned his new apartment at Ethiopian Village to plan where to put his belongings, saying, “I have many books and many things. All kinds of papers.” A former History professor at the University of Washington and Shoreline Community College, 96-year-old Mr. Wassé is thrilled to be the first resident of the new 55+ affordable housing community in Seattle, Washington. 

Originally from Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, Mr. Wassé moved to America in 1966 to further his education and plant roots. He is believed to be the first documented Ethiopian citizen to live in Seattle, besides students at the University of Washington.


Mr. Wassé is a member of the Ethiopian Community in Seattle (ECS), HumanGood’s partner and co-owner of Ethiopian Village. What started out as regular meetings over coffee to discuss the Ethiopian culture and happenings turned into ECS in 1980. The nonprofit assists members with social services and preserving the Ethiopian heritage. Today, there are more than 5,000 members of the organization in King County, according to the ECS website. Mr. Wassé noted that being a member of ECS has brought value into his life by giving him opportunities to speak to members, build relationships, and help the children of immigrants learn about their cultures.

Ethiopian Village is a brand-new construction offering 89 stylish apartments, contemporary features, and a number of amenities for low-income adults 55 years and older. The building is connected to the renovated ECS headquarters and a coffee shop to recognize the social tradition of meeting over coffee, and the beginning of a community. Ethiopian Village welcomes all residents who meet the income qualifications, and residents do not need to be Ethiopian to live in the community.

When asked what he enjoys about Ethiopian Village, Mr. Wassé said the community is beautiful, and his impression of the HumanGood team on-site has been very favorable. “It’s a marvelous connection, really,” he said. “Kindliness, smiles, just nice people to meet. That is something I won’t forget.” With more Ethiopians moving into the community, Mr. Wassé offered to help facilitate their introduction to the community, as he speaks Amharic, the native language, as well as English. “If I’m needed, I’ll be helpful in getting across some of the important ideas [from other residents],” he said.

Learn more about the newest HumanGood addition to Seattle at

Topics: Affordable Housing

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