Mission & History

TonyOur Mission

Plymouth Housing Group works to eliminate homelessness and address its causes by preserving, developing and operating safe, quality, supportive housing and by providing homeless adults with opportunities to stabilize and improve their lives.

Our expertise is in serving individuals who have often failed in housing in the past, or who cannot access decent, affordable housing due to poverty, disabilities or criminal record.

Plymouth subscribes to the “Housing First” philosophy, operating on the principle that people cannot improve their lives until they have a safe, stable place to live.

Our Vision

Housing is just the beginning…the first step to building hope and transforming lives.  We envision a day when every person has a home and a better quality of life.

David Colwell

Rev. David Colwell (1917–2001)

Our History

In 1980, the members of downtown Seattle’s Plymouth Congregational Church became deeply concerned when they realized homeless people were sleeping on their church doorstep. Proclaiming that “one homeless person is one too many,” Rev. Dr. David Colwell challenged his congregation to end homelessness in downtown Seattle.

Church members responded and founded Plymouth Housing Group as an independent, non-profit organization to develop and operate housing for homeless people in Seattle. Today, Plymouth is governed by a 21-member community Board of Trustees that includes two tenant representatives.

Plymouth Housing Group has since grown to be one of the largest providers of very low-income housing in downtown Seattle. With over 1,000 residents and 17 retail tenants in 14 buildings, Plymouth Housing Group today has an annual operating budget of $28 million.

“One homeless person is one too many.”
~ Rev. David Colwell (1917–2001)

In 2012, Plymouth completed a $22 million Sustaining Hope Capital Campaign which resulted in the renovation of two Plymouth properties, the Lewiston Apartments and Pacific Apartments, and the construction of Plymouth’s Pat Williams Apartments in South Lake Union.

Plymouth Housing Group’s comprehensive approach to providing affordable housing and supportive services has been overwhelmingly successful, earning our organization local and national recognition as a leader in the effort to end homelessness.

Click here to see a timeline of Plymouth’s history.