Communications Director, Office of Recovery & Resilience
Snohomish County Purchases First Hotel to Convert to Bridge Housing with Wraparound Services
Facility in Everett to Provide 74 New Units of Bridge Housing for Unsheltered Individuals
Snohomish County, Wash., August 8, 2022 – Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers announced that the County is planning to use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to purchase its first hotel to convert to time-limited, bridge housing coupled with wraparound services. The Days Inn facility in Everett will provide 74 new units of time-limited, bridge housing for individuals living without shelter.
As of the end of 2021, Snohomish County has 646 year-round shelter beds. Last week, Snohomish County announced the Shelter & Behavioral Health Partnership Program, which will add new units to house an estimated 36 individuals, among many other housing and behavioral health projects. Investments from the Partnership Program and Days Inn hotel purchase will create 110 spaces in 2022 alone, representing a 17 percent increase in Snohomish County’s system capacity.
“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. “We have heard the community loud and clear: Now is the time to make substantial, creative investments to increase housing supply across our county.”
“Purchasing this property is addressing urban homelessness with dignified housing. Having a safe place to stay for our most vulnerable residents and managing this site with 24/7 hour staffing, wraparound services, and coordination with Everett is meeting a critical need in our community,” 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).
“Housing with onsite services will be a strong base of support for those individuals working to build a better life for themselves and their families,” said Councilmember Stephanie Wright (District 3). “This project will increase public safety, while reducing many of the dangers and roadblocks experienced by our most vulnerable populations.”
The 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.
“Providing shelter for those in need and significantly reducing public safety challenges related to chronic homelessness is a top priority for Everett residents. Snohomish County’s purchase of the Days Inn will provide shelter to some of the most vulnerable members of our community. This is a necessary action to making all our residents safer,” said Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin.
“I applaud our community for taking this necessary step in addressing this pressing and ongoing need. As we have seen in the area around the mission, collaborative and innovative approaches that benefit all neighbors is the way,” said Sylvia Anderson, CEO, Everett Gospel Mission. “We were successful with the pallet project because business leaders, government, law enforcement, and nonprofits came together to bring about the workable solution we are now experiencing.”
“The key to success of moving people experiencing homelessness into safe stable housing starts with housing. Short term shelter housing combined with effective support and security is the proven way to move folks from long term homelessness into permanent, stable housing. This plan hits all of those needs. This has been our successful model for years and can work with this hotel acquisition,” said Jim Dean, Executive Director, Interfaith Family Shelter.
“The County has taken great strides in assuring they close the widening gap caused by homelessness. I am very excited and confident that this project would be most beneficial for those who have been disproportionately affected by homelessness,” said Vivian Obah, CEO Helping Hands Project Organization.
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 bridge housing specifically was a top-voted issue at three of the five in-district Recovery Roadshows, including the District 2 Recovery Roadshow in Everett.
Executive Somers has forwarded the purchase agreement for the Days Inn facility to the Snohomish County Council for consideration. The County Council will consider the proposal – and take public comment – on August 17. The County intends to purchase additional properties in the coming weeks, with Council approval. In addition, Snohomish County will conduct community outreach to ensure residents and organizations can learn more about the program, provide input on implementation, and ask questions.
The facility has received motel voucher referrals throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the last year, the County estimates that 120 individuals have been provided emergency shelter at this location. By purchasing the facility, the County will add new services including 24/7 on-site staffing, wraparound services, and increased navigation to any needed off-site services.
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.