BREAKING: Snohomish County to purchase second hotel for homeless
Snohomish County, Wash., August 15, 2022 – Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers announced that the County is using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to purchase a second hotel to convert to time-limited bridge housing with wraparound services. The America’s Best Value Inn in Edmonds will provide 55 new units of time-limited, bridge housing for individuals living without shelter.
Over the last week, Executive Somers has proposed three distinct investments to significantly boost bridge housing and behavioral health services across the county:
- Shelter & Behavioral Health Partnership Program – 36 new units
- Days Inn hotel purchase – 74 new units
- America’s Best hotel purchase – 55 new units
In total, these three projects will create 165 spaces in 2022 alone, representing a 26 percent increase in Snohomish County’s system capacity.
Executive Somers has forwarded the purchase agreement for the America’s Best Value Inn – located in the Uptown district along Highway 99 – to the Snohomish County Council for consideration. The County Council will consider the proposal alongside the Days Inn purchase on August 17. In addition, Snohomish County will continue community outreach to ensure residents and organizations can learn more about the program, provide input on implementation, and ask questions.
“With these one-time federal funds, we have an opportunity to make transformational investments in our housing system. By increasing our bridge housing capacity, we can provide safer places for vulnerable residents, create stability to support communities’ overall health and wellbeing, and make Snohomish County an even better place to live, work, and play – for everyone,” said Executive Somers. “South County residents and service providers have been clear that we need to increase local housing and mental health care options, and we intend to continue expanding units and services for vulnerable communities across the county.”
This property is addressing a need for emergency shelter with dignified housing and wraparound services. This site has long been identified as an excellent location in south County and we are proud to partner closely with Edmonds on this opportunity,” said Council Chair Megan Dunn (District 2).
“This investment in our most vulnerable residents is vital in creating long-term solutions and sustainability for a safe, healthy, and thriving community for all,” said Vice Chair Jared Mead (District 4).
“The housing and services made available by this project will increase public safety, while reducing many of the dangers, anxieties, and roadblocks experienced by our most vulnerable,” said Councilmember Stephanie Wright (District 3). “This is a great opportunity to help people change their lives for the better.”
Similar to the proposed purchase of the Days Inn in Everett, this facility will serve unsheltered adults in Snohomish County. In addition to time-limited bridge housing, individuals will have access to wraparound services, including food, hygiene, employment services, legal services, and mental health and substance use disorder services. The facility will also have 24/7 on-site staffing and services.
“The County’s purchase of the America’s Best Value Inn is a natural fit,” says City of Edmonds Deputy Parks and Recreation Director Shannon Burley, whose duties include overseeing the City’s human services division. “Many of the folks who have resided at this motel have used housing vouchers through various homelessness-prevention programs. Through partnerships with the County and nonprofit service providers, individuals will receive much needed wraparound care and services. This is a great addition for South Snohomish County.”
“Access to stable housing is the foundation for achieving positive health outcomes,” said Lisa Edwards, Superintendent of Verdant. “To help our most vulnerable residents, we first have to address their most basic needs, including a safe place to sleep. This project will help ensure unhoused South County community members can access essential services that support wellness and guide them towards permanent housing.”
“This is a fantastic development and comes at a time when the challenges facing our community have never been higher. Housing stability will always be the first step towards self-sufficiency and this will provide that path forward,” said Brian Smith, Chief Operating Officer of Volunteers of America Western Washington.
“Compass Health is proud to partner with the City of Edmonds and other South County communities to expand mental health resources for at-risk individuals through our Community Transitions program. A key component of our work involves helping community members access housing on their paths to recovery, and we applaud Snohomish County for making it a priority to increase crucial housing resources in our area,” said Tom Sebastian, President / CEO of Compass Health.
Increasing shelter and housing capacity was identified as a consistent community priority throughout the Office of Recovery & Resilience’s (ORR) pandemic recovery outreach efforts, and increasing behavioral health services and affordable housing were top-voted issues at the District 3 Recovery Roadshow, which includes Edmonds.
Executive Somers established the Office of Recovery & Resilience to guide the county’s recovery work by ensuring federal pandemic relief is administered quickly, effectively, and equitably. Information on the county’s recovery work can be found at www.snohomishcountywa.gov/recovery.
Content Source: Snohomish Country Press Release