Jim Knight has spent his career working at non-profit organizations that welcome and support families and individuals who have experienced difficult circumstances, often related to economic hardship. In acute situations, these hardships include homelessness, addiction, and incarceration. He has led Jubilee Housing as its executive director since 2002.
Knight started his tenure modernizing Jubilee’s original properties. More recently he has been expanding Jubilee’s stock of highly affordable homes, adding to the organization’s key initiatives, and advancing its mission.
Under Knight’s leadership, Jubilee has preserved approximately 235 affordable homes in the now high-cost neighborhoods of Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights, and Mount Pleasant—enabling long-time residents to remain in place and benefit from the positive change in their communities. In Fall 2018, Jubilee will open an additional 64 affordable homes in Columbia Heights. With Knight’s guidance, Jubilee also has expanded programming to help residents reach their life goals. This includes programming in early childhood education, out-of-school-time youth development, and supportive services for returning citizens.
Knight secured more than $100 million in innovative funding needed to couple highly affordable homes with onsite or nearby supportive programming. Those efforts have utilized three different tax credits, local funds from the District’s Housing Production Trust Fund, and federal HOME funds, as well as several sources of private capital.
He spearheaded Jubilee’s most recent innovation, a strategic alliance with six other high-impact non-profits working to increase the ability of D.C. families to overcome economic hardship. Working with organizations in the Platform of Hope, families pursue their goals in a supportive cohort.
Knight directs Jubilee in its broadened mission to foster equity and bring about justice through housing—justice housing, which is affordable to those with few financial assets, coupled with opportunities we all need to succeed, and located in resource-rich neighborhoods. He spearheads Jubilee’s efforts both to establish more justice housing and to foster better understanding among people from different backgrounds and experiences through justice housing.
During Knight’s tenure, Jubilee has been recognized with several awards, including the Bank of America Neighborhood Builders award, TD Bank’s Housing for All award, and CITI Bank’s Partner’s in Progress Neighborhood Quarterback award. The Agnes and Eugene Meyer Foundation selected Knight to receive its inaugural Exponent Award for exceptional non-profit leadership.
Prior to accepting the executive director role at Jubilee, Knight led the men’s transitional program at Samaritan Inns, where he helped open a new facility that doubled the organization’s capacity to serve men in the early stages of recovery. Knight oversaw a staff of addiction counselors and social service coordinators and worked directly with residents as they took steps to rebuild their lives.
Earlier, Knight served as a facilities manager and work rehabilitation coordinator for the Knox Area Rescue Ministries, a nonprofit assisting the homeless community in Knoxville, TN. Knight began his career in 1994, as an intern with the Festival Center, a mission of the Church of the Savior in Washington, D.C. The Festival Center placed him at Jubilee Housing.
Knight is a mayoral appointee to D.C.’s Housing Production Trust Fund Advisory Board, offering insights into the strategic development of affordable homes in the District. Knight also serves on the board of the Coalition for Non-Profit Housing and Economic Development and co-chairs its housing committee. He is a member of the Leadership Greater Washington Class of 2019.
Knight received his BA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
He is a member of the Bread of Life Church, a faith community that grew out of the Church of the Saviour, and he describes his career path as driven by his faith.
Knight and his family are long-time D.C. residents. His wife co-owns a veterinary practice in the District, and their children attend D.C. public schools.