The Urban Hope Board of Directors announces the hiring of Lawson Wijesooriya to the newly established role of Director of Development and Strategy.
Urban Hope, a faith-based affordable housing non-profit, provides affordable rentals for families with extremely low incomes, support to those pursuing homeownership, and monthly financial literacy and coaching classes in Richmond’s East End.
Wijesooriya joins a full-time staff of two.
Sarah Hale, Executive Director, and Carolyn Loftin, Director of Housing and Family Services. Urban Hope was founded in 2000, reenergized in 2005 by community members, and hired its first staff in 2009. Now after three years with full-time staff, a strong sense of mission, and an urgent need to secure more housing, Urban Hope strategically brings on Wijesooriya to accelerate their growth.
Wijesooriya has experience in fundraising and growing small non-profits as evidenced in her successful ten-year tenure as Blue Sky Fund’s founding Executive Director. Motivated by her faith, she brings that experience, an abiding commitment to her community, and a passion to seek the flourishing of a mixed-income community by protecting housing opportunities for the most housing insecure of her neighbors.
Wijesooriya completed a certificate program in fundraising from University of Richmond’s Institute of Philanthropy, was named to Style Weekly’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2010, and serves on several philanthropic boards.
“Hiring Lawson is one of our most important moves yet. Her deep experience andSarah Hale
dynamic style will propel Urban Hope forward at the pace we need, to meet the high
demand for more quality housing that the community can truly afford, in one of the most
challenged areas of our city,”
Urban Hope is on a mission to make housing a cornerstone of opportunity by keeping it