Housing and Homelessness
Housing instability and homelessness is a pressing health and social issue in every community that Providence serves. We see a vital intersection between health care and housing and believe both are basic human rights. Finding manageable pathways to permanent housing requires both comprehensive health care reform and a serious commitment from private and public sector entities to pool talent and resources. Through our commitment of health for a better world, last year Providence acted on our pledge to improve the health and well-being of our communities, especially those who are poor and vulnerable, by making targeted investments and building strategic partnerships.
Providence sponsors, owns and operates 16 supportive housing units for low-income and elderly residents in Washington, Oregon and California. In 2019, these units and associated programs supported many residents. But these programs go beyond safe shelter. Once housed, we connect residents with supportive services to address critical needs such as nutrition, primary health care, security and mental health services. This coordination of services helps our residents live more stable and fruitful lives.
Through our commitment to health for a better world, Providence partners with community organizations who provide permanent, supportive housing to people experiencing homelessness.
In the Seattle region, where more than 11,000 people are currently without stable housing, Plymouth Housing is a leader in providing permanent housing as part of a comprehensive package of services. In 2019, Providence teamed up with fellow health care organizations, Swedish and Premera Blue Cross, to invest $15 million in Plymouth Housing. This investment will help support the development of eight new housing facilities in Seattle.
The causes of homelessness are vast and vary from person to person. Placement in a permanent, stable home with access to supportive services is a proven effective first step to identifying, treating and preventing underlying causes of homelessness. Safe housing is the foundation for overall health and well being. It provides critical stability for those experiencing homelessness and empowers them to overcome obstacles to accessing health care and other services.
Through a new initiative in partnership with Catholic Charities called the “Health Housing Initiative”, Providence aims to reduce chronic homelessness in the Portland, OR, Spokane, WA and Northern California.
Another important partnership is the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness (ACEH) in Anchorage, Alaska. Providence believes in their work towards functional zero and is proud to serve the Alaskans through this partnership. The ACEH strategic plan to solve homelessness provides a three year roadmap that draws on the community’s existing work and planning. The goal is to ensure homelessness in Anchorage is rare, brief and a on-time event.