A home health care worker cooperative in Port Townsend, Washington, opened its doors this month with 13 caregivers and a waiting list of clients. The launch of Peninsula Homecare Cooperative came 10 months after several experienced health care providers decided the best way to provide exceptional care for the elderly and dignified, sustainable careers for caregivers was to create a worker cooperative.
The project was assisted along the way with experienced technical assistance, support from a neighboring cooperative and grant funding.
Seasoned cooperative developer Deborah Craig from the Northwest Cooperative Development Center (NCDC) collaborated with the group as it moved through the development process from concept to operation.
Craig has worked with other home care cooperatives during her career, including Circle of Life Caregiver Cooperative, a successful seven-year-old home care cooperative in Bellingham, Washington. In the true spirit of Principle 6: Cooperation among Cooperatives, Circle of Life provided advice, encouragement and inspiration to the members of Peninsula Homecare Cooperative.
The Cooperative Development Foundation’s MSC Fund provided a $9,000 grant to NCDC to support technical assistance and marketing, legal and licensing expenses associated with the development of PHC. CDF has a long relationship with home care cooperatives, supporting their development and expansion through research, grant making and collaborations with local technical assistance providers. In September 2016, CDF will convene the inaugural Home Care Cooperative Conference.
USDA Rural Cooperative Development Grant funds also assisted in the development of the Peninsula Homecare Cooperative. For more information about PHC visit www.peninsulahomecare.coop.