Plymouth Housing has announced it has raised $48.8 million of its $75 million capital campaign goal. The PROOF Campaign, an ambitious effort led by Plymouth’s leadership and funded by generous supporters, will help the organization build 8 buildings with 800 new homes to meet the unprecedented need for permanent supportive housing for the thousands of single adults in King County experiencing chronic homelessness along with physical disabilities, behavioral health disorders, and other challenges.
The PROOF Campaign will fund eight new buildings, nearly doubling the number of residents served annually by Plymouth Housing to 1,950. Cornerstone contributors to the PROOF campaign were recognized by Paul Lambros, CEO of Plymouth Housing, at today’s announcement. Those funders—each giving $5 million—included flagship Seattle corporations and organizations Microsoft, Amazon, Connie and Steve Ballmer, Providence St. Joseph Health, Premera Blue Cross, Swedish Health Services, and Wyncote Foundation NW.
The PROOF campaign will raise an additional $26.2 million through all levels of public donations to realize the $75 million goal, which will leverage upwards of $250 million in public funds to construct these eight new apartment buildings. Dollars raised through this campaign will allow Plymouth to increase its total number of properties by more than 50%, from 14 to 22 apartment buildings, providing permanent housing for an additional 800 individuals. In addition, the campaign donations will establish an endowment for critical support services and operations and a fund to update and maintain the five historic Downtown Seattle properties in Plymouth’s portfolio.
Plymouth Housing CEO Paul Lambros said, “Thousands of single adults are struggling with chronic homelessness in King County, those who are most in need of housing and support. Since we were founded, Plymouth Housing has helped thousands of our neighbors recover from homelessness, and when we were faced with this crisis, we knew we needed to do more. Thanks to the compassion of our amazingly generous early donors, and to everyone who has and will contribute to this campaign, these 800 apartments will bring even more people off the streets and into safe homes with the services they need to rebuild their lives.”
With a 94% success rate, Plymouth Housing is proof the cycle of chronic homelessness is broken by permanent, supportive housing. Plymouth provides housing and critical support services for those with the highest needs and who have struggled with homelessness for many years. Many of these individuals, including seniors and veterans, live with disabilities, mental health challenges, substance use conditions and more. Without a home, shelters, hospitals, institutions and jails meet their needs. In comparison, Plymouth Housing provides 365 days of housing and support services for the cost equivalent of three days in a hospital, three months in King County jail, or one year of temporary shelter.
“We’re so encouraged by the strong community support, which gives us a firm foundation for our $75 million campaign that will leverage public funds to build 800 homes for our neighbors experiencing homelessness,” said Matt Griffin, Principal of Pine Street Group and PROOF campaign co-chair. “We all realize we have a problem. I hope the business community will realize that it’s our community, our problem to solve. If the business community doesn’t lead, who can lead?”
“When it comes to homelessness, most of us want to help, but few of us know what will make a meaningful difference,” said Paula Rosput Reynolds, CEO of PreferWest and PROOF campaign co-chair. “But now we know. A number of major organizations and longtime supporters, who know Plymouth’s model works, have generously come forward to anchor the PROOF campaign—the largest scale effort ever undertaken to expand the provision of permanent supportive housing in our region. By joining in support of PROOF, all of us can do what desperately needs to be done to ameliorate the suffering of the most vulnerable among us.”
The first five of the eight buildings will be located in the International District, Uptown, and First Hill, and will be completed within four years. Many of the projects are mixed-use, including ground-level retail. The first to come online, 501 Rainier Supportive Housing, will open spring 2020 with 105 studio apartments and street-level retail leasing space. The Uptown project at Second Avenue and Mercer Street in Queen Anne, in partnership with Path With Art and made possible by the City of Seattle’s award of public land, will break ground in January 2020 and offer 93 studio apartments, as well as a ground-floor community art space operated by Path With Art. The Madison/Boylston project on First Hill, providing over 350 apartments in partnership with Bellwether Housing, will be Seattle’s first fully affordable high-rise in more than 50 years. This project, which was made possible by a $0 land transfer from Sound Transit, will break ground mid-2020. The fourth project, breaking ground in 2021, is located at 12th Avenue and Spruce Street; this project will include 103 apartments and ground-floor space operated by St. Francis House, which provides services for those experiencing homelessness. The fifth building, yet to be sited, will be fully committed to housing homeless veterans.
Recognized locally, regionally and nationally as an early adopter and pioneer in the “Housing First” model, Plymouth offers residents a home without asking them to prove that they’re ready for it. At Plymouth, barriers of entry to housing access are lowered so that people who are shut out of many places to live have an opportunity to succeed.
For more information and to donate to the PROOF Campaign, please visit www.plymouthhousing.org/proof.