About Us

ECS is a vibrant organization that provides culturally appropriate social services as well as long term programs on education, health, and housing.


The Ethiopian Community in Seattle launched in 1980 to help the community gain a foothold in Seattle and the surrounding area. As most immigrants faced cultural and linguistic barriers to services, ECS provided assistance finding jobs, housing, health care and legal help.

As a community-centered organization, ECS also provided a platform for community members to support each other. Those who came to the area earlier and knew their way around volunteered at ECS to support new immigrants.

Volunteerism was and continues to be key for ECS. Recognizing the importance of preserving cultural heritage, the organization celebrates Ethiopian holidays to stay connected with our roots and identity.

In 1983, ECS incorporated as a nonprofit membership-based organization. Members contributed regularly to make critical services available to members and non-members alike. The board and staff of ECS are all of Ethiopian descent with lived experiences similar to the community they serve.

ECS has grown into a vibrant, flourishing organization that provides culturally appropriate social services as well as long-term programs for more than 5,000 members of the Ethiopian community in King County. ECS continues to help the Ethiopian community overcome cultural and racial barriers in the face of structural racism to promote a thriving, self-sustaining community.

ECS celebrates the diversity of its community and embraces all gender, ethnic, religious, and political orientations. We make deliberate efforts to reach out and support our community members who are chronically underserved in health care, housing and other social services based on race and geography.

Staff Members

Sophia Benalfew

Executive Director

Tsega Desta

Program & Housing Director

Hirut Dube

Case Manager

Almaz Eshetie

Senior Program Associate

Derseh Leyew

Building administrator

Dagmawi Aberra


Abraham Asfaw Gebrekidan

Business Coordinator

Tesfaye Mekonnen Faye

Program Assistant