Last Wednesday, as the weather changed and lighting lit up the Tacoma sky, 25 local physicians and medical administrators gathered at the home of Dr. Julian and Stephanie Ayer to hear more about Tacoma-Pierce County Habitat for Humanity’s 30 years of helping low-income families find adequate housing.
Dr. Anthony Chen from the Pierce County Health Department shared data and maps showing the connection between decent, affordable housing and health outcomes in our area, including Census datashowing that residents in Pierce County may be as much as 20 years apart in average life expectancy based on where they live.
I shared about Habitat’s current efforts, including stories of families that have experienced significant positive changes in their health when they moved into their new home. One mother had been suffering from extreme asthma due to black mold in her apartment and when she moved into her Habitat home she wrote the staff a letter that said,
“I am overjoyed to tell you that I haven’t used that inhaler once since I started sleeping in my new Habitat home!! I’m excited for all the possibilities since I won’t be sick any longer.”
-Latasha, Habitat homeowner
Dr. Ayer asked his peers to join him in financially supporting Habitat’s work and the guests responded generously. I am extremely grateful for the Ayer’s hospitality and ongoing financial support of Habitat’s work. I also wanted to say thank you to Pediatrics Northwest, the Pierce County Medical Society and to all those that supported or attended the gathering last week, including:
Stacie and James Beck
Norm and Kim Burns
Swati Vora and Deven
Steve and Cynthia Litsky
Brian and Catherine Mulhall
George and Kimi Tanbara
Gary and Libby Tart
-Elliot Stockstad , Director of Development , Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity