Companionship for People with Mental Illness

by Plymouth Healing Communities


In the United States, mental illness is one of the 3 largest causes of homelessness. Serious mental illness often disrupts people's ability to form stable and trusting relationships. Providing affordable housing is only PART of the solution to ending homelessness in the lives of people living with disabling mental health conditions. PHC's approach to supportive housing incorporates meaningful relationships and a community that deeply cares. We do so through our model of companionship.

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On any given night in the US there are over half a million people experiencing homelessness and 25% are suffering from severe and persistent mental illness. Many rely on high-cost public services for their survival, and without support or options, end up cycling through hospital emergency rooms, detox centers, shelters & jails. PHC offers more than just affordable housing, we offer community through companionship, breaking down stigma and isolation through deep and caring relationships.


PHC has over 40 companions offering side-by-side support to people who were homelessness and are living with chronic mental illness. Companions are volunteers who dedicate a year to walk alongside our residents in multiple housing properties - providing social support outside the clinical realm. Through companionship, residents are valued as people with gifts and stories to be treasured. Our program is effective, with residents experiencing an 82% reduction in hospitalization.

Long-Term Impact

We believe affordable, supportive housing, combined with companionship is an effective strategy end the chronic cycle of hospitalization and homelessness for people living with mental illness. 95% of our residents stay housed for longer than 3 years. Companionship is transformative for our volunteers, as many go on to be life-long mental health advocates, working in medical and non-profit sectors.

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a DOCX file (projdoc.docx).


Watch a Video of our Work!
National Coalition for the Homeless Article
PHC's Facebook Page
Housing for Homeless Saves Millions

Organization Information

Plymouth Healing Communities

Location: Seattle, WA - USA
Website: http:/​/​​Default.html
Project Leader:
Nate Kraus
Operations Manager
Seattle, WA United States
$3,999 raised of $10,000 goal
49 donations
$6,001 to go
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