Compassion House operates "transitional housing" for low-income families seeking to rise out of their current or past circumstances and achieve self-sufficiency. By state law, a transitional housing facility must limit residency to two years, then the resident must move on. Our units are all 3-bedroom, so we focus on single mothers with two or more children.
Compassion House operates from a Christian philosophy of caring for those in need among us. While we are a faith-based organization, we do not consider spiritual beliefs, gender, age, race, education, or disabilities when working with clients.
In addition to low-cost housing, we provide each resident family with the support required to re-build their life, overcome past troubles and create effective life habits. Our goal is to see emotionally and economically hurting people become healthy again, moving closer to self-sufficiency before they leave in two years. We provide compassionate care to residents in several ways:
Each resident has a support team of caring volunteers who "come alongside" the resident as advisors and friends, mentors and "life coaches". These compassionate volunteers are there to help the resident family examine the patterns of their life, and re-shape the parts that currently hinder them from the goal of a self-sufficient life, learn new decision-making skills, all in the manner of friends who care. The team identifies special needs and seeks additional help where appropriate.
We provide each resident with a personal counselor, who meets with the resident in strict confidence to discuss and evaluate the issues in their life. The counselor does not share any information with anyone else. Having this trustworthy outlet is extremely valuable to the residents.
We require each resident to participate in financial counseling, so they learn the value and techniques of managing their budget, however low the income may be. We use a book from Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, and adjust the focus to those issues most relevant to low-income people.
We provide financial assistance where needed to meet pressing needs, such as covering utility bills or medical bills, when the resident is without means to pay.
Rent Based on Income
Like other transitional housing programs, we require the resident to pay as rent no more than 25% of their family income, plus the actual cost of utilities. This results in an effective housing cost that is far below market rents. In the case of a resident with no income at all, rent may be zero, but we require the resident to be actively seeking work, training for work, or working as a volunteer in community service, such as at the food bank.
We locate and provide low-cost or donated services in areas of legal counsel, medical and dental care, car repairs, and other such needs, to the extent possible.
We interact on the resident's behalf with other social agencies, such as the Issaquah Food Bank, Issaquah Schools, Hope Link, Utility providers, etc.
Future Housing Search
Our housing specialists assist the residents to identify future housing prospects for when they leave Compassion House, and help them to navigate the complicated application processes of other subsidized housing programs.