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City of Seattle
Gregory J. Nickels (former Mayor)

SUBJECT: Plymouth on Stewart kicks off City focus on Housing First model

4/7/2006  9:00:00 AM
Todd Burley  (206) 684-5081

Plymouth on Stewart kicks off City focus on Housing First model
Represents City investment of $3.75 million to house chronically homeless

SEATTLE – The Plymouth on Stewart Apartments grand opening event this afternoon marks Seattle’s commitment to ending homelessness through the housing first model. The City has invested $3.75 million in Plymouth on Stewart, which will house up to 87 chronically homeless individuals, and is pledging $200,000 in service dollars annually beginning this year.

“I am committed to ending homelessness, not just managing it,” said Mayor Greg Nickels. “Seattle has about 500 to 700 chronic homeless, struggling with drug, mental or alcohol problems and desperately in need of housing and services. To end homelessness we have to start here.”

In the State of the City Address last month, the Mayor announced a partnership with Plymouth Housing Group to kick off the housing first initiative. This grand opening event celebrates that partnership and the City’s dedication to ending homelessness.

When: Event runs from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. – program begins at 2:30 p.m.

Where: 116 Stewart Street (at Second Avenue) in the retail space on the Northwest corner

Contact: LeAnne Nelson, 351-2334

In 2005 alone the City of Seattle contributed more than $10 million to help create about 200 new units of housing for the homeless. Nearly three thousand affordable housing units managed by the City of Seattle are dedicated to serving homeless individuals and families.

Planning for Plymouth on Stewart Apartments began about three years ago, with the City of Seattle as the lead funder. Early this year the Mayor’s Office and the Seattle Office of Housing worked on the initiative to add service dollars to the project.

“Combining services with housing reflects a shift from the ‘reactive’ emergency shelter approach to a ‘proactive’ housing first model,” said Office of Housing Director Adrienne Quinn. “Homeless families and individuals are more responsive to interventions and social services after they are safely in permanent housing.”

The Housing Levy represents a significant portion of the City’s investment in both affordable housing and housing for the homeless. In a recent review of Levy performance and impact, results showed the Office of Housing is exceeding the Levy’s housing goals, while leveraging $4 for every one dollar of Levy funds.

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