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. The House of Healing offers a place of rest for those caught in the cycle. The home provides time for residents to heal with communal support before exiting to housing.
Homelessness is a growing humanitarian crisis in the US, particularly in urban areas where the supportive resources exist, but housing is un-affordable. In Seattle, over 1,000 people are released yearly to the streets or shelters after a mental health hospitalization. Many remain homeless, cycling through shelters, hospitals and jails. The House of Healing offers an immediate home, supportive services and companionship for those individuals who would otherwise be released to the streets.
Residents at the House of Healing stay between 3 to 6 months. The House has 4 residents and 4 companions. Companions are individuals who dedicate a year to live in community with people living with mental illness. They share meals together, go on outings, and offer shared spaces to share life. Residents at the House are linked with mental health and housing services through Harborview Mental Health and are given time to stabilize in a community that is welcoming, warm and respectful.
After 15 years in operation, our model has provided remarkable results with over 95% of residents exiting to permanent housing, and over 80% experiencing a reduction in hospitalization 5 years post exit. This intentional community is unique and offers an alternative path out of homelessness for those individuals that often fall through the cracks. Additionally, companions experience a life-changing year, and leave as advocates, often times committed to continue in the field of social service.