Providence Vincent House at Pike Place Market in Seattle is one of 16 Providence Supportive Housing programs serving seniors and other vulnerable populations. In addition to providing safe, affordable housing, the Supportive Housing facilities offer comprehensive support services to help residents live more stable and productive lives.
Vincent House, in particular, prioritizes applicants who are homeless. This focus on homelessness is part of an expansive understanding of health at Providence St. Joseph Health.
“Health is about so much more than inpatient and outpatient care – it’s also about making sure basic human needs are met,” said Tim Zaricznyj, director of Providence Supportive Housing. “Research has shown that once a person finds safe, affordable housing, they become more socially involved in their community and their health can stabilize and improve. Our residents are testament to the efficacy of home and community in treating complex health and social issues.”
For example, Wude was born and raised in Ethiopia and immigrated to the United States with her daughter. Life in her new home was difficult, partially due to an unmanaged mental illness which eventually led to homelessness. Upon being hospitalized, Wude was referred to Providence Supportive Housing and the Vincent House community.
“I had nothing when I came here,” Wude said. “They provided me with a bed, mattress, plates for food, mops, even a microwave to warm my food.”
Wude’s life began to stabilize as she learned to treat and manage her challenges. She now receives support from Vincent House caregivers. The management staff helped coordinate donations to purchase basic items for her apartment that she couldn’t afford. The service coordinator helps Wude understand paperwork and helps connect her with benefits and services such as transportation, food delivery and discounted internet. Finally, she is engaged in her community and even prepares traditional Ethiopian dishes to share with her neighbors at Vincent House events.
“The people here are just like sisters and brothers,” Wude reflected. “There is a lot of love.”
With a total community benefit investment of more than $3 million in 2018, Providence Supportive Housing currently operates 780 units of housing and serves more than 900 residents in Washington, Oregon and California.