Plymouth Healing Communities breaks the chronic cycle of hospitalization and homelessness.
As an alternative to living on the street, we provide companionship and deep respect in a small, referral-based, neighborhood-scale shelter, to homeless patients released from Harborview's inpatient psychiatric units and outpatient mental health clinic following an acute episode of mental illness. Over the long term, we stay in touch, extending the embrace of community and ensuring ongoing treatment
Plymouth Healing Communities began in 2001 through funds raised from members of the Plymouth Church in downtown Seattle, who readily recognized that we are all affected by mental illness—either personally, in our family or in the community.
Adopting the model created by Craig Rennebohm of the Mental Health Chaplaincy, our short-term facility House of Healing opened in 2002, providing one-on-one care to residents immediately upon release from Harborview Hospital. We purchased Agape House in Ballard in 2003, which provides permanent housing for residents receiving support from the Community Psychiatric Clinic. Opened in July 2005, Hofmann House is our third house, providing permanent housing facilities for residents in the Harborview Mental Health Services program. We acquired the Argonaut Apartments in December of 2008, and the Admiral Apartments in December of 2009; they provide permanent studio and one-bedroom apartments for residents who prefer to live in a more independent setting. All permanent housing facilities are supported by our Community Companion.
Does our model work? Absolutely. It costs us about $12,000 per resident at the House of Healing, and we have an 82% success rate of keeping our residents off the street and out of the emergency room, permanently. All our other facilities are financially self-supporting financially. The companionship offered by Plymouth Healing Communities provides the ongoing mental and emotional support that allows our residents to move forward with greater independence.
We rely heavily on our companions and volunteers to provide the key ingredients in restoring a sense of belonging for residents. Companions are deeply affected by their yearlong residency, often becoming lifelong mental health advocates. Our houses, situated in neighborhoods, help to de-stigmatize mental illness and create communities that are less fearful and more complete.
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