Alexander Lark

Alexander Lark

‘I want to live and raise a family where everyone has a home’

Alexander Lark once built nest boxes for ducks. Now he raises money for Housing Hope and its families.

This is one of 12 finalists for the Herald Business Journal’s annual Emerging Leaders award, which highlights and celebrates people who are doing good work in Snohomish County. The winner is to be announced during an online event on Thursday. Meet the other finalists.

Alexander Lark, 33

Philanthropy manager, Housing Hope, Everett

As a kid, one of Alexander Lark’s first service projects was building nest boxes for wood ducks with his dad.

Years later, he’s still helping others find shelter.

Lark is a fundraiser for Housing Hope.

“I work for Housing Hope because I believe in building a space for everyone, because I want to live and raise a family where everyone has a home,” Lark said.

“All people, all families, all children should have a home. Home is where you can begin to heal and begin to grow.”

Founded in 1987, the nonprofit aims to provide affordable housing for families and children experiencing homelessness.

“Housing Hope not only provides affordable housing, but the tools needed for people to get back on their own two feet,” Lark said. “We’re trying to break the cycle of poverty and help people heal from the extreme trauma that comes from poverty and homelessness.”

Lark grew up on a farm in Mount Vernon. His father raised llamas. His mother was a teacher.

From tutoring students with special needs to volunteering at the local library, his mother was always giving back, he said.

Lark is an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve. “As a soldier, I stand on the shoulders of those who wore the uniform before me,” he said. That includes Lark’s grandfather, whose World War II military ID he wears around his wrist and whose original orders from the 1940s, when he was stationed at Paine Field, are in his safekeeping.

He volunteers at InspireHER, which connects professional women with young girls seeking role models, and serves on the Everett City Planning Commission.

“Over the last two years, I’ve worked with other commissioners to help set a new vision for the future of downtown Everett to help make economic growth, opportunity and accessible housing a priority for the downtown core,” he said.

A city’s downtown is the living room of the community. Make it vibrant. Make it walkable, he said.

“At the end of the day, I love being on the planning commission. I believe if you build a better city, you can build a better world,” Lark said.

His efforts have been noticed.

A nominator wrote, “Alex is a tireless advocate for homeless individuals … and has been a huge leader in the community.”

Janice Podsada; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods

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