Welcome to Uplift Northwest Centennial LIVE!

A virtual event series celebrating a century of community service

Throughout our centennial year, we will be hosting a virtual event through our YouTube and Facebook pages where Uplift Northwest will invite clients, staff, board members, donors, and business and civic leaders to share their stories from over the years. Only through community could we achieve a century of empowering men and women through dignified employment. Produced in partnership with KEXP and their Music Heals initiative, each event will include a special, uplifting musical performance by one of Seattle’s favorite artists. 

Centennial LIVE! Viewing Links

Stay tuned for information on our next upcoming event!

Watch on FacebookUplift Northwest Facebook Page

Watch on YouTubeUplift Northwest YouTube Channel

You can watch our latest event recording below, and visit our Centennial LIVE! archive on YouTube for all past recordings.


One hundred years ago in 1921, Martin Johanson stood in Seattle’s Pioneer Square looking at all the people lined up at a soup kitchen waiting for support. He decided there had to be a better way to get people back on their feet. Johanson believed that if you had a job to do and a full belly, you could find both dignity and purpose. So he began feeding people, and they paid for the meal by working the kitchen. The Millionair Club was born.


Now, several name changes and a century later, Uplift Northwest continues the same mission of empowering people through employment. Located in Belltown since 1941, Uplift Northwest is one of Seattle’s oldest nonprofits and one of its most successful job programs for people experiencing poverty and homelessness.

As a privately-funded nonprofit, none of the work we do could be accomplished without our community’s support. Thanks to you, Uplift Northwest has been able to provide job opportunities and support services to tens of thousands of people over the past century.

What started as a humble service transformed Uplift Northwest into a major workforce provider for some of the regions biggest employers. Men and women have found thousands of job opportunities through partnerships with local employers like Centurylink Field, Seattle Public Utilities, and Tom Douglas Restaurants.

While the numbers for the past century are far greater, a quick snapshot of 2020 demonstrates the following achievements:

  • 502 workers were actively enrolled in the Uplift Northwest job program
  • 435 loads of laundry were processed for workers
  • 344 showers were provided at the hygiene center
  • 97 prescription eyeglasses were provided to workers at no charge
  • 63 workers completed job-training workshops and certification classes presented by Uplift Northwest and Seattle Jobs Initiative in partnership
  • 323 local employers hired Uplift Northwest workers for jobs
  • 90,215 total hours were worked by Uplift Northwest workers
  • $1.67M in total wages were earned by Uplift Northwest workers
  • 61 workers earned permanent or long-term job opportunities
  • 210 workers received housing assistance from Uplift Northwest (either an affordable apartment at our own Kasota apartment building or income verification for another housing lease)

Over the past century, countless men and women have rewritten their stories by finding job opportunities and support services at Uplift Northwest.

With a century of experience providing jobs and job readiness services to men and women in need, Uplift Northwest is prepared to lead our community forward into a more prosperous future. As a part of our mission, we intend to continue providing crucial training and job placement opportunities for essential jobs. While the immediate future may look different as a result of COVID-19, we will continue to adapt and provide job opportunities and services where the community is most in need.


As a community leader, we intend to be role models for helping disenfranchised peoples. We will continue to build an inclusive model of employment service delivery that brings diverse experiences, perspectives, and voices into the conversation. We will continue working to build alliances with both public and private sector partners in order to best provide a full continuum of life-stabilization services.


Uplift Northwest has been a cornerstone in Seattle’s nonprofit community for the past 100 years, and, with your support, we are prepared to continue serving this city for 100 more.

100 Years, 100 Stories

Over the past century, tens of thousands of men and women have passed through Uplift Northwest, and each one has their own unique story. Whether they found work, donated, volunteered, or hired workers, these stories make up a century of community progress. Read some of these stories below.

Want to contribute your story? You can submit a text, audio, or video story by visiting upliftnw.org/story.

Black Bear Sisters

Sisters Reunited at MCC After 3 Years Apart

What are the odds of finding an estranged sibling in a city with millions of inhabitants, commuters, and tourists when you have no way of knowing their whereabouts? Pretty slim to none. However, after a three-year hiatus with no phone calls, meetings, or message...

Kira H – why I became a donor

My husband and I did not need the 2020 COVID-19 stimulus check, so when we received the money, we donated it all to local non-profits. We live in Belltown and saw the lines of people waiting for food outside Uplift Northwest. While we weren’t quite familiar with...

Andrew Ritts in Seattle Times

MCC worker Andrew Ritts was recently featured in The Seattle Times as part of their Project Homeless feature. Andrew can be seen working at Safeco Field as part of Millionair Club Charity's partnership with Centerplate hospitality group. This piece shines a light on...

Abi – Worker success story

Abi once found herself alone and with little or no resources, stranded in an unfamiliar city but determined to thrive. She found a job at a youth hostel in Seattle that put a roof over her head, but still needed money to afford food and other essentials. That’s when...

Paul B. – why he became a donor

Paul is a Seattle resident and past-Boeing employee who decided he needed to help his community in light of the 2008 economic crisis. He looked for local non-profits who would put his donation to best use, and he decided to support Millionair Club Charity to help...

Dana Q – why I became a donor

I am a donor to Uplift Northwest, and I wanted to share why I began supporting this organization. Sometime around 1958, my school held an assembly with an inspirational speaker who spoke of his struggles in early life. He told us that some day when he was able, he...

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Our Mission: We guide people on their path to self-sufficiency by providing employment and job readiness services.