In late September, health and housing partners from across the Olympic region (Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap counties) gathered at Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s Red Cedar Hall to collaboratively problem solve around local housing challenges and solutions.
Partner Spotlight Presentations
The convening began with Andrew Reiners from Peninsula Behavioral Health’s Dawn View Court (a supportive housing project in Port Angeles) and Kathy Morgan from Olympic Community Action Program’s7th Haven project (a supportive housing project in Port Townsend). They each shared lessons learned and successes of their innovative housing projects.
Next steps for these local projects:
Keep current programs full and individuals engaged for continued success. As Andrew Reiners shared, “We want to make sure we do this one right.”
Calming community fears and stigma. Both projects expressed a need for partners to be advocates, to understand the positive impacts these programs are making and to help communicate why this work is important for the broader community.
OlyCAP is continuing development of the Mill Road Project aka Caswell-Brown Village, which was used as temporary shelter during the acute phase of COVID-19. Caswell-Brown Village is currently $1.7 million short of its funding goal. This project will expand shelter offering family suites, housing an additional 50 people.
To learn more about these innovative projects, follow the links above or connect with partners directly:
Need help making a connection? Email OCH@olympicch.org
Housing Deep Dive: Hospital Transitions
The majority of time at the convening was spent focused on hospital transitions. Hospital transitions refers to transitioning people from hospitals to the level of care that best meets their individual needs. Challenges transitioning people out of higher levels of care persist across the Olympic region for a variety of reasons. Representatives from local hospitals and medical respite programs shared their expertise and perspectives to inform collaborative problem solving. Themes from partner discussion are captured below.
What solutions do you see:
Expand promising programs, like medical respite pilots, to additional communities such as Jefferson County and the West End.
Data collection and storytelling – both qualitative and quantitative. Work together to compile compelling regional stories to influence change in the community around stigma, and upstream to decision makers.
More community resources and supports to initiate long-term care planning. There is need for guardianship conversations and access to education in the community. Additionally, elders across the region wish to age in their homes, so expanding palliative care options is worthy of exploration.
Advocacy for funding. There is a strong desire for a unified regional strategy to prepare for 2025 legislative session. A unified strategy would allow for collaboration and alignment around funding. Due to the nature of the Olympic region, care often transcends county borders, funding should too.
Increased support for the workforce engaged in this work.
Address community stigma through education campaigns to shed light on shared challenges, innovative solutions, and to bring the hidden problems forward.
Interested in learning more about innovative local projects? Check out these partner spotlights and resources:
Kitsap Mental Health Services, Pendleton Place
Makah Tribe, Village of Hope
Olympic Area Agency on Aging, Homeshare program
Olympic Community Action Programs, Tiny Homes, Big Impacts – senior housing
Olympic Community Action Programs, Caswell-Brown Village
Olympic Community of Health, Connecting to Data
Olympic Community of Health, Coffee Break Video: Housing