Since the early 90s Capitol Hill has been home to second chances; Pioneer Human Services manages four transitional housing apartments on Capitol Hill — three on Belmont — providing homes for those in recovery from drug addiction.
Some may worry how these facilities affect the community and neighboring businesses, but Hillary Young of Pioneer says the housing reduces crime, and “helps reduce homelessness by providing a safe, affordable housing option.”
At the heart of PHS services are its transitional living homes. PHS oversees over 800 transitional living homes in the state of Washington. The non-profit does receive tax-payer money but their Capitol Hill Homes according to Young, “are not specifically funded with state dollars” but notes “some residents receive state benefits that pay the fees for the housing.” According to their website, “nearly 60% of all mental health spending is from public funding sources.”
Where are the houses?
PHS in Capitol Hill has transitional housing in four locations and with 126 apartments (most in the Belmont corridor) for those seeking a half-way house to fill the gap between in-patient treatment and self-sufficiency.
- , at 1515 Belmont, has 40 furnished units, with on-site laundry, a shared kitchen, and bath, and utilities and basic cable included in the monthly fee of $366 – $372.
- , 1727 Belmont Ave, has 45 furnished units, and all units have private kitchenettes. Like the Chamberlain, they also have on-site parking, utilities and basic cable included in the monthly fee, and as an additional perk, residents may rent a parking space during their stay. Monthly rates are $451 for a single, and $605 for a couple
- , 1110 18th Avenue E, is the smallest of the four with ten furnished units, shared kitchen and bath, free street parking, on-site laundry and the same as the above. Singles here run $435 and a unit with a private bath is $535.
- , 1733 Belmont Ave, has thirty-one furnished units, each with a private kitchenette and paid parking available to rent. As with the others, on-site laundry, utilities, and basic cable are included in the monthly fee of $451 for individuals and $605 for couples.
All of the buildings are named after founding members of the PHS organization, Young said.
In addition to the homes in Capitol Hill, PHS has transitional housing in First Hill, Squire Park, Columbia City, and Tacoma.
Who lives there?
Young said the main residents of their Capitol Hill facilities are “adults who have been clean and sober for at least 30 days and are committed to maintaining sobriety,” and can stay “up to two years” at the properties.
Tenants must stay in compliance with the ‘clean and sober’ policy which PHS enforces by sending case managers to each housing unit Monday-Friday. Residents meet their case managers at least weekly and resident councils add another level of accountability for the communities.
To support their sobriety, residents are encouraged to attend an outpatient facility down off Denny Way for counseling and support. If case managers suspect a resident is relapsing, continued participation in the program requires drug testing.
Young says PHS provides a “safe, affordable, housing option for people who otherwise may be forced to live on the streets.” The facilities may not be the first kind you’d pick to have as neighbors but there’s a lot to be said for making space on the Hill for second chances.