August 20, 2019
Are you concerned about the impacts of poverty and marginalization on individuals experiencing mental health issues? Are you seeking a way to help outside of a professional role?
Plymouth Healing Communities provides permanent supportive housing and companionship for individuals who live with chronic mental health issues. We are committed to fostering a community of healing alongside residents, with recognition of the care, love, and respect that all people deserve. Our goal is to cultivate supportive relationships that are conducive to personal well-being, autonomy, and dignity. Our resident and community services are made possible with the support of volunteers in these four roles:
Paired Companions meet with a tenant for regular one-on-one outings and activities, which could include going to a coffee shop, taking a walk, visiting a Farmer's Market, playing a game, or anything that the duo finds interesting. We ask that volunteers commit to at least two meetups per month, each for a duration of two hours (for more than two meetups per month, each could be an hour).
Community Companions host community gatherings at one of our residential properties (Admiral in West Seattle, Argonaut in the Central District, and Hofmann House on Beacon Hill). These typically involve some form of food or entertainment, such as coffee/tea socials, movie/game nights, prepared brunches or dinners, an arts/craft group, and anything that the volunteer is interested to share with the community. We ask that volunteers commit to at least two events per month, each for a duration of two hours (for more than two events per month, each could be an hour).
Respite Companions fill 4-hour shifts at our transitional housing property House of Healing. While on shift, volunteers are available to engage with current residents in a variety of ways, whether through conversation, watching a movie, playing a game, baking/cooking, working on a craft project, or anything that is at hand to share together. Shifts are typically from 6-10 PM Sunday through Thursday, with other options available upon request. We ask volunteers to schedule two shifts per month.
Residential Companions commit to a term of service living at House of Healing. Volunteers live alongside residents, modeling positive regard, fostering supportive relationships, and encouraging individual and communal well-being. We ask that volunteers work up to 30 hours per week in the community. Because of the greater commitment, the position is compensated with room and board at the house, medical and dental insurance, a monthly stipend of $500, an Orca card for public transportation, and professional development opportunities.
Since the focus of companionship is to build supportive relationships with members of the PHC residential community, we ask for a year commitment. In the case of the Residential Companion position, we are open to a shorter term on a case by case basis. We want to invest in our volunteers as much as our tenants, so we hope to appeal to those who may find themselves seeking a deeper experience of being in their lives, in contrast to doing or having. The companionship model of service was founded by Craig Rennebohm as a ministry of presence, operating through hospitality, listening, solidarity, and accompaniment. We provide a training for all volunteers to explore these practices as a foundation to cultivating mutuality in service.