Established in 1979, Catholic Housing Services of Western Washington, (CHS, formerly known as the Archdiocesan Housing Authority) develops, owns and manages affordable housing programs for low-income families and individuals. We provide supportive services for people who have experienced homelessness, low income seniors, farm worker families, and those who have special physical and mental needs. We own or manage approximately 2,100 housing units at 50 properties through Western Washington.
As a multi-service agency with an annual operating budget of approximately $23 million, more than 250 employees and assets of more than $250 million owned or under management, CHS is a mission driven faith based agency that works in partnership with local, state and federal government agencies, public funders, private lenders, and community agencies to achieve our goals.
Creating safety and stability for vulnerable people and building community are the heart and soul of CHS’ mission. We greet people who come to our programs by name, welcoming them and referring to them as residents or guests. We want them to know that we will listen to them and we are willing to share their story. Taking the time to listen to the struggles of their lives is a crucial part of our ministry, and is the basis for this “ministry of presence” we share with the people we serve. It is the depth of the relationships we have with our residents that enables community to happen in our programs; we believe with Thomas Merton that “in the end, it is the reality of personal relationships that saves everything.”
There is a clear sense in CHS that we meet the people we serve right where they are, not where we wish they were. It is this affirmation of the individual’s dignity that is the basis for our work and community. Our programs are a place to instill hope, an opportunity to consider what other possibilities there are for a person’s life. We walk with our residents, inviting them to direct their energy and gifts toward the experiences and the issues that have contributed to their life challenges, and to move to an improved and more stable living situation.