Post by Robert Hellrigel, senior VP of Home and Community Care, Providence St. Joseph Health and Tim Zaricznyj, director of Housing, Providence Supportive Housing
Providence St. Joseph Health is proud to participate in Pearl Jam’s campaign to end homelessness in King County, which has the third worst homeless situation in the country, worse even than Los Angeles and New York. The band is donating $1 million to the cause and is challenging local businesses to rally around the issue.
Housing is a critical social determinant of health, and many who are homeless are among the most poor and vulnerable in our communities. That is why PSJH has agreed to make a donation as part of the campaign. We are directing 100 percent of our gift to a modular shelter project being developed by Catholic Community Services and King County.
We selected this project because modular shelters are the fastest way to address the immediate crisis of people sleeping on the streets or in unauthorized encampments. This shelter will offer a safe place to stay while agencies assist individuals in finding permanent solutions. With our support, the project will be able to increase its capacity to 72 individuals per night.
The campaign culminates in two concerts, the Pearl Jam Home Shows, on Aug. 8 and 10. This is the first time the band has played in Seattle in five years, and it’s expected to be one of the largest concerts in Seattle history. It will provide a high profile platform to raise awareness about this issue. The Providence St. Joseph Health logo will be on display at the shows, along with several other local organizations, including our partners at Swedish.
As clinicians who serve homeless patients every day and as a mission-driven organization, PSJH brings a unique perspective to this issue. We intend to use our voice to shed light on the crisis. We encourage you to follow our social media channels and share our posts to help us raise awareness.
As part of Mission Week in September, our caregivers will have an opportunity to volunteer for programs that support the homeless. Look for more information about volunteering during Mission Week soon.