On May 18, Olympic Community of Health (OCH) invited housing and health-serving partners across the Olympic region to come together to maximize efforts and increase coordination.
Thirty-six attendees including community partners, emergency responders, health-serving groups, and city and county representatives explored innovative solutions and creative collaboration opportunities to address local housing challenges and offered valuable input for the path forward.
Kathy Morgan, Olympic Community Action Programs, shared OCH’s Housing Action Plan, highlighted the history of collaboration in the Olympic region, and why working together in a way that capitalizes each partner’s strengths is the key to creating meaningful change to meet the unique needs of the Olympic region.
“Everyone has access to safe, decent, affordable housing that meets their needs.” – Result statement from Everyone Housed Action Plan
OCH shared the Connecting to Data tool which summarizes all action plan indicators, including those in the housing action plan. Check out OCH’s data hub for more local and accessible housing and health data.
Partner panelists shared housing challenges, impacts to their work, creative solutions underway, and planned next steps.
Bridget Glasspoole with Kitsap Mental Health Services highlighted the success and need for Pendleton Place, the first permanent supported housing of its kind in Kitsap County. She shared the power of housing in improving lives and promoting long-term recovery for both substance use disorder and mental health. More solutions like this are needed throughout the region.
Ingrid Henden with Olympic Area Agency on Aging highlighted the Silvernest Program, a home sharing solution that fosters social connections with those seeking housing and those in need of support or connection to stay in housing. This is one innovative solution to meet the high demand for workforce housing.
Sam Schroeder with Olympic Community Action Programs and the Sequim Health & Housing Collaborative shared the importance of supporting youth and young adults and how this population's needs can be different compared to other age groups.
Sarah Martinez with Peninsula Housing Authority spoke to the need for housing solutions across the full spectrum. Once people are successfully housed, there is a large need for place-based support to ensure people can maintain their housing.
Continuing the Conversation
Partners broke out into county-based groups to dive deeper into conversation. Partners identified that connections between health and housing in the Olympic region need to be strengthened and there is value in continuing conversation at a regional level to bolster creativity and innovations across counties and partner types.
In response to partner input, OCH will host another housing convening in the fall of 2023 to continue fostering collaboration, innovation, and dive deeper. Future convenings will offer opportunities to roll up our sleeves and get to solutions, together. The next convening will feature breakout discussions by topics related to the housing action plan including:
Respite, supportive, transitional, and long-term housing for those transitioning out of care
Wraparound and support services to keep people housed and meet the needs of the next level of care
Long-term, transitional, and respite housing for people in treatment and recovery for SUD
More detailed information will be coming soon. OCH looks forward to continuing to serve as a backbone for collaboration. We are Stronger Together.
In the meantime, check out OCH’s various resources to learn more about housing and health in the Olympic region:
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