Seattle health care leaders come together to fight homelessness

May 22, 2019

Swedish Health Services, Providence St. Joseph Health and Premera Blue Cross jointly announced that the three organizations are collaborating to address chronic homelessness in the greater Seattle area. Each organization is donating $5 million, with a total donation of $15 million, to the affordable housing non-profit Plymouth Housing.

The goal of the joint donation is not only to build permanent, affordable housing and fight homelessness, but also break down silos between organizations and decrease community dependence on emergency health care. Plymouth Housing will use the donation to develop three new apartment buildings, which will serve 300 veterans and seniors. One of the buildings will be the first affordable housing high rise in Seattle in 50 years.

“Solving homelessness requires collaborative solutions that address the underlying causes of this crisis,” Swedish CEO Dr. Guy Hudson said. “Swedish has a long history of collaboration with local organizations to address the needs of our community and improve the health and well-being of everyone we serve. We are proud to support Plymouth Housing in its critical work to operate safe, quality and stable housing, which has a profound impact on the lives of many people struggling with housing insecurity.”

“There is growing awareness within the health care community of the vital intersection between housing and health,” Providence St. Joseph Health President of Operations and Services Mike Butler said. “Those who experience homelessness often suffer from chronic physical and mental health conditions at higher rates, and face added barriers to receiving care. With the proper support and structures in place – beginning with permanent housing and supplemental health services – we create a more manageable pathway for people facing chronic homelessness.”

These organizations are not alone in their efforts to address homelessness. Jefferson Healthcare, Harborview Medical Center and Virginia Mason are just a few of the additional health systems working on this issue.

Additional information about the donation and Swedish Health Services, Providence St. Joseph Health and Premera Blue Cross’ commitment to serving their community is available online.


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