King County turning former homeless hotel into temporary housing for refugees
The former Silver Cloud Inn in Redmond will temporarily house current and newly arrived refugees, King County Executive Dow Constantine recently announced.
This is a short-term program for individuals and families coming into the area as the county still wants to act on its plan to create a Health Through Housing (HTH) site at the former inn by the end of the year.
The HTH initiative is a regional approach to address and curb chronic homelessness at a county-wide scale. It was created by Constantine in 2020.
“The plan is to use the Redmond hotel for permanent supportive housing, but not in the next several months, so it is available for this beneficial temporary use in the short term,” said King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci. “Some of the other Health through Housing former hotels are either going to be opening for permanent supportive housing sooner, or are not ready for people to move in because of needed upgrades.”
The Redmond hotel will be repurposed for refugees as the county prepares the Federal Way building, previously used for refugee housing, for preparations to open as a HTH property, according to a statement from the county.
Starting in May, refugees will be able to stay at the former Silver Cloud Inn through the month of September.
“No matter the storm abroad, King County will always be a safe harbor,” said Constantine in a news release. “I am pleased that we can collaborate with so many local leaders and partners to ensure individuals and families have what they need as they prepare to make a new home in our region.”
The county originally purchased the hotel for $28.25 million in July 2021 and can house as many as 144 people. The HTH initiative’s goal is to have up to 1,600 units for emergency and supportive housing within the county.
Safe Eastside, an organization with the goal of reclaiming neighborhood safety, is in full support of this transition to house refugees.
“It’s a good cause. There’s an urgent humanitarian need for this,” said Kan Qui, founder of Safe Eastside. “We’re with the refugees, and we’re supporting this. We didn’t originally oppose the use of this building to house the homeless. But, it became closer to low barrier housing for people with criminal records and people who abuse drugs and alcohol right in our neighborhoods.”
King County is partnering with the International Rescue Committee for refugee resettlement services, the King County Department of Community and Human Services for 24/7 onsite staff, and the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services for property operations.