By tackling homelessness, assisting immigrant workers, and helping provide basic infrastructure such as clean water, Marcia Almquist ’63 has positively and profoundly impacted thousands of lives. Through her leadership with Plymouth Housing and the Seattle Housing Resources Group, Almquist honed a groundbreaking approach to addressing homelessness and increasing low-income housing by finding abandoned hotels and apartments, converting them into suitable living quarters that fit in with the neighborhood, and providing resources for residents. This highly successful model has been copied throughout the United States. As a testament to her service and vision, Plymouth Housing dedicated a 100-unit housing building as Bob and Marcia Almquist Place, honoring her and her former husband, Bob Almquist ’63, who passed away in 2019.
Almquist has continued to find ways to make social change. In 2012 she teamed up with Rotary International to implement several projects in rural Ecuador, including providing toilets, kitchens, and computers to two schools; establishing safe, clean water supplies; providing small business loans; and improving water collection and drainage fields.
Almquist is a Carleton sociology major who earned a master’s degree from New York University. She lives in Seattle.