King County to repurpose homeless hotel to house Afghan refugees
In support of Afghan refugees preparing for resettlement, King County has announced plans to invest $500,000 in temporary housing and community services, including at Federal Way’s Extended Stay America.
“The fabric of our community is continually strengthened by those who arrive here from other nations, whether under duress or by choice. These investments in resettlement help open a new chapter in the lives of these families as they start afresh here in King County,” Executive Dow Constantine said. “We can help by taking concrete action to make sure families, and the community partners who will support them, have what they need to ease the process of resettling.”
The county acquired the Extended Stay America hotel in July through its Health Through Housing initiative, which has been the driving vehicle behind a flurry of local hotel purchases intended to address chronic homelessness. Extended Stay America will be temporarily repurposed to accommodate the influx of Afghan refugees.
Beyond housing support, the investment will assist community partners to provide language services, including translation, as well as community grants to organizations that assist Afghan resettlement.
“World Relief commends the King County Executive for taking proactive steps to welcome Afghan refugees with bold policy action and resources,” said Chitra Hanstad, executive director of World Relief, based in Kent. “As we take on the important work of getting our new neighbors settled in and ready to start their lives in the Pacific Northwest, the incredible support of the county with this innovative private/public partnership will provide much-needed capacity to get folks into housing and ready to navigate their new communities.”
“We are excited about this new partnership with King County to temporarily house Afghan refugees in safe and secure housing,” said Kathleen Morris, deputy director of the International Rescue Committee, based in SeaTac. “Welcoming refugees is an imperative and a long standing practice here in the Puget Sound Region, and we are looking forward to collaborating with the county to ensure that these new residents have what they need to join the community and participate in the life of this place.”
Funding will be provided via the Office of Equity and Social Justice, as well as the Department of Community and Human Services.