EVERETT, Wash., August 14, 2022 – On Thursday, August 12, Snohomish County Councilmember Nate Nehring introduced an ordinance that will require tenants of the proposed County bridge and permanent supportive housing who have been diagnosed with Substance Use Disorder (SUD) participate in a drug treatment program.
The ordinance follows County Executive Dave Somers’ proposal for the County to purchase the Days Inn hotel in Everett for conversion into bridge housing for homeless individuals. Councilmember Nehring is requesting that the County Council delay the vote on the purchase of the hotel until the drug treatment ordinance can be considered.
According to his press release, focusing on addiction recovery for those housed in County-owned shelters is critical to resolving one of the root causes of homelessness. According to data published in the National Institutes of Health Library of Medicine, over one-third (1/3) of individuals experiencing homelessness also suffer from an addiction.
“To address the root causes of homelessness, we must take a compassionate approach to help those struggling get back on their feet,” said Councilmember Nehring. “Warehousing individuals struggling with addiction in hotels just to get them off the street is not solving the underlying causes of their situation and is not compassionate. My ordinance would require that these individuals participate in a treatment program.”
If adopted, the ordinance would specifically address residents of County-owned hotels which have been converted to bridge or permanent supportive housing facilities and would only apply to individuals with a substance use disorder. The County Council is currently scheduled to vote on the purchase of the Days Inn hotel in Everett at their General Legislative Session meeting on August 17th at 9:00 AM.
The ordinance has been introduced and is pending assignment to a Council policy committee.