Snohomish County approves purchase of two hotels for conversion into homeless shelters
Snohomish County Council members have given the final green light to purchase two hotels, the Days Inn in Everett and America’s Best Value Inn in Edmonds, for conversion into housing for people who are homeless.
The purchase will be made through the Shelter & Behavioral Health Partnership Program, which is utilizing $9 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
These new hotels will expand the county’s services for the homeless by providing 129 new units of time-limited, bridge housing for people struggling with homelessness. For the past year, more than 100 vouchers have been distributed to the homeless to stay at the Days Inn, and now the city is skipping the middleman and purchasing the hotel outright.
“Communities across Snohomish County have made clear that stabilizing and supporting our vulnerable residents is a top priority. These individuals and our neighborhoods are safer and stronger when we provide pathways to wraparound services, treatment for those in need, employment assistance, and access to housing,” said County Executive Dave Somers. “I’m glad the County Council acted with urgency to finalize these two hotel purchases. This expansion in bridge housing and services will make Snohomish County a better and safer place for everyone to live, work, and play.”
All residents will have access to services at the hotels to help them find jobs and long-term housing, including food, hygiene, employment opportunities, legal services, and mental health and substance use disorder resources.
“The housing and wraparound services made available through this effort will increase public safety while reducing many of the dangers, anxieties, and roadblocks experienced by our most vulnerable,” said Councilmember Stephanie Wright. “I’m glad we’ve acted on this great opportunity to help people change their lives for the better. This housing will have a lasting positive impact on our Snohomish County communities.”
Now that the official purchase has been approved by the council, an extensive on-site assessment is the next step to determine what renovations need to be made in order to get the facility up and running to serve the community.
The county has also announced two other key plans to alleviate homelessness and help the community during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Executive Somers created the Office of Recovery & Resilience in order to give community members access to tools and support during the pandemic, as well as a partnership with nine other cities to provide 36 additional units of housing for those experiencing homelessness and provide rent and rapid rehousing assistance to help at least 130 individuals and families.