Ariel MS House: Multiple Sclerosis Joint Housing Venture

First in the Nation
Together, Multifaith Works and the 
Multiple Sclerosis Association of King County (MSA) and have developed one of the first housing and supportive services programs in the country for people moderately disabled by multiple sclerosis. The joint venture capitalizes on the expertise of both agencies: Multifaith Works’ experience in providing supportive housing for people disabled by AIDS and the MSA’s experience in caring for people with MS.

Until our joint venture, people disabled with MS had no alternative to moving into nursing homes or other congregate care facilities, despite their young age and the fact that they remain mentally alert for most of the disease’s duration.

A generous donor contributed a house for the joint venture after touring several of Multifaith Works’ Multifaith AIDS Projects houses. Making the house wheelchair accessible came next. Major contributors include the National MS Society Greater Washington Chapter, the Boeing Employees Community Fund, the Seattle Foundation, and other corporate and individual donors. Named “Ariel House,” the West Seattle home opened in January 2002, and is jointly owned and managed by Multifaith Works and the Multiple Sclerosis Association of King County. 

The Need
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system, and is a chronic condition with no known cause and no known cure. It is not fatal or contagious. It is estimated that there are between 3,000 and 6,000 people in King County alone living with MS, 73% of whom are women. Although people with MS strive to live as independently as possible despite the disease, approximately 20% still end up needing to live in some assisted care facility.

Until our joint venture, people disabled with MS had no alternative to moving into nursing homes or other congregate care facilities, despite their young age and the fact that they remain mentally alert for most of the disease’s duration.

Your Support
The donation of Ariel House was just the beginning. Although the renovations are complete, the house still needs to be maintained, volunteers are regularly needed, and support staff need to be hired. A reserve fund for repairs is also needed.

Living in Ariel MS House
The goal of Ariel House is not just to provide a house, but to create a sense of community and mutual support among the residents. Living in a house designed to be barrier-free, individuals suffering mild to medium effects of MS will support one another, along with the supportive services of the Multiple Sclerosis Association and Multifaith Works.

  •  Ariel MS House houses five residents, with some rooms large enough to house couples.
  • Located in West Seattle, the home is close to shopping and bus lines, a park, and other amenities.
  • Supportive services are provided both through state-funded caregivers and volunteers.
  • The MSA provides case management, rehabilitation and social work services, as well as personal assistance and support.
  • Multifaith Works provides the house management and facilitates resident relations. A special Multifaith Works MS CareTeam of volunteers assist residents of the house.
  • One-to-one emotional support volunteers from Shanti, a program of Multifaith Works, are also available.