CVS Health also is making a $14.3 million investment with Chief Seattle Club and Raymond James Affordable Housing Investments to build 120 affordable housing units in Seattle, Wash., as part of the company’s commitment to advancing health equity by addressing social determinants of health at the local level.
“When people have access to high-quality affordable housing, it allows them to focus on taking care of their mental and physical health,” said Rafael Gonzalez-Amezcua, chief medical officer of Aetna Better Health of California at Aetna, a CVS Health Company. “By addressing social determinants of health at the local level, we're helping to improve individual and community health outcomes of the American Indian and Alaska Native people.”
[Read more: CVS Health investing $6.5M in Denver’s affordable housing community]
The five-story development called Sacred Medicine House will be located at 14315 Lake City Way NE in King County. It will offer on-site counseling, a healing garden, preventative healthcare services, and will have a community room where residents can engage in traditional healing ceremonies such as drumming, singing, storytelling and talking circles.
According to the King County Department of Community and Human Services Cross Systems Homelessness Analysis, the number of King County homeless is up nearly 14% since 2020 and 57% remain unsheltered. Additionally, 15% of people experiencing homelessness in King Country identify as American Indian, Alaskan Native or Indigenous, but that group makes up only 1% of King County’s population.
CVS Health is working with the Chief Seattle Club, which for years has worked to increase access to housing and wraparound services to best support the Seattle community. Through CVS Health’s investment, Chief Seattle Club will build 120 new studio units, 88 of which will serve as Permanent Supportive Housing for households experiencing homelessness.
“It’s astonishing how far we’ve come together and where we will be in another year or two,” says Derrick Belgarde, executive director of Chief Seattle Club. “Never have I been as optimistic as I am now about the future of our community.”