News

Permanent, Supportive Housing’s Place in Resolving Homelessness

“For the past 10 years, I’ve been living in clean and sober houses … or homeless shelters and have been very unhappy just trying to find a place that I can be and not to be scared. I have a lot of medical problems and for the first time I feel like I have a home. Not an apartment, but a place I can call my home… you have no idea how great it is to feel safe again, Plymouth has given me a life again and to everyone who makes this happen I thank you for changing my life, for making me feel at home. I had given up and now I feel that I can move forward.” – Anonymous Plymouth resident

John, a Plymouth resident, at our annual Summer Picnic. (Photo by Meghan Rowley, 2016)

John, a Plymouth resident, at our annual Summer Picnic. (Photo by Meghan Rowley)

Every year, Plymouth sends a survey to all of our residents to ask them about their experience living with us. Last year, a resident submitted the comment above. Every day, our staff listen to stories like this one and bear witness to the challenges our residents face as they struggle to put the traumas of homelessness behind them. We serve those who have experienced long-term (chronic) homelessness; those who have, in many cases, tried and failed to secure stable housing for two, five, ten, even twenty years. These men and women have fallen through the gaps in our social safety net, and they need consistent, caring support to regain stability.

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During our citywide conversation on homelessness, it’s important not to lose sight of the importance of permanent supportive housing. In January, 2017, there were 11,643 people experiencing homelessness in King County. Of these, nearly 2,000 are single adults experiencing chronic homelessness. Clearly, we need more housing like that Plymouth provides.

Plymouth on First Hill, rendering by SMR Architects, 2016.

Plymouth on First Hill will open in October, 2017.

Plymouth is growing as fast as we can to meet this staggering need. Our strategic plan, which is highlighted in our 2016 Annual Report, calls for us to build 350 more apartments by 2022. Our newest building, Plymouth on First Hill, will open this fall. In September, 77 men and women experiencing chronic homelessness will begin moving off the streets and into brand new apartments with wraparound support and, thanks to our partnership with Harborview Medical Center, on-site medical care.

It’s thanks to the support of our community that we can grow this quickly. With your help, we’ll bring more people out of homelessness and give them the support they need to settle into their permanent homes.